US Open: Men’s Final

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We started with 128 men in the main draw and we are now down to two. World number 1 Novak Djokovic is looking to continue his climb up the all time Grand Slam winners list by claiming number 13 while Wawrinka looks to deny the Serbian by winning what would be his third.

The presence of Djokovic in the final comes as no surprise but the same cannot be said about Wawrinka, Despite being the most feared opponent on the tour it has been a very tough fortnight for the Stanimal. He was down match point in the 3rd round against unseeded Daniel Evans before winning through in 5 sets. He also started as outsider against his last two opponents in Del Potro and Nishikori despite being ranked higher than them.

For Novak it has been a downhill run. He looked shaky early against Janowicz but has played very little tennis with a walkover from Vesely and early retirements from both Youzhny and Tsonga. Monfils was able to win a set in the semi but could not apply the sustained pressure required to beat Novak over 5 sets.

That pressure is something that Wawrinka is well aware of and The Wolf says that it is in fact Novak who will be under pressure in this one. Djokovic may hold a 21-4 advantage in the H2H but when you dig deeper you can see that Wawrinka has given him plenty of trouble in recent years at the majors.

Wawrinka has won 2 of their last 3 meetings at Grand Slam level and in the two meetings before that Djokovic won two epic 5 setters.Four of their last five meetings at the slams have needed a deciding 5th set and this one looks to be no different.

Novak is like a brick wall at the baseline but we know that Stan can hit right through him. Stan made Del Potro and Nishikori look second rate in the closing stages of their respective matches and if he can play anywhere near that level he is more than a chance of causing the upset.

The key shot in this one is the Wawrinka backhand and that should come as no surprise. Stan can hit clean winners from all areas of the court with it and will again rely on the backhand down the line to open up the court against Djokovic. This may seem hard to believe for some but Stan’s game has a higher ceiling than that of Novak. It is simply a case of whether he can sustain a high enough level for at least 4 sets.

The over lines up as the best bet with so many of their recent matches at the slams going the distance and don’t be quick to write off Stan even if he loses the opening set. In his last two wins over Novak he has lost the opening set but gone on to win. With Stan hitting the ball as well as he has in the second week this one screams 5 set thriller!

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