US Open 2016 - Men's semi-final preview as Djokovic takes on Monfils, Wawrinka vs Nishikori on the cards
Here are our picks and predictions for who will make the US finals.
We’re almost at the end of the US Open Tennis Championships and the men have now been whittled down from 128 players to the final four, all of whom are seeded here .
Top seed and World No. 1 Novak Djokovic remains the favourite to win the trophy for a second year running. He has had an easy run into the semi-finals here, having played only two full matches, with a number of his opponents retiring prior to, or partway through a match against the Serb.
Read more: Novak Djokovic’s easy run into the US Open finals
It looks like he’ll have it relatively easy this time around, too; the Serb has a very familiar opponent by way of 10th seed Gael Monfils. Although the tall Frenchman has done very well so far, he is yet to conquer Djokovic on the ATP circuit.
Here’s a preview of the action expected tonight:
Novak Djokovic vs Gael Monfils
Djokovic and Monfils are old foes, having met a whopping 12 times on the professional circuit – with the Serb having won every single match. The pair most recently faced off at the semi-finals of the Montreal Masters earlier this year, where Djokovic was eventually crowned champion.
Their rivalry, which goes back over a decade,is decidedly one-sided; the last time Monfils won a match against Djokovic, the pair were still on the Futures circuit.
Although Djokovic veat Monfils in straight sets at the Montreal Masters, five of the Serb’s 12 wins over Monfils have been in straight sets, meaning that Djokovic has had to make a significant effort to trump Monfils on court, and that the Frenchman is not a particularly easy opponent.
The acrobatic Monfils is yet to drop a set in his US Open campaign, having won every single match he has played so far in straightforward fashion; Djokovic, meanwhile has only played two full matches. Being well-rested will give Djokovic a definitive advantage here, as will his previous success at Flushing Meadows.
Still recuperating from injury and off the back of a slump in his season, Djokovic has mentioned personal problems having weighed his game down. So far, he is yet to entirely exhibit the vast gamut of shots that he has come to be associated with.
Though it is Djokovic who is recovering, Monfils is known to be one of the most injury-prone players on the circuit, and has frequent knee injury issues that have hampered his play. Given he has been playing a consistently high level of tennis, Monfils, who is known as Slenderman for his athleticism on court, may be suffering from low energy and fatigue.
The pair have met before at the US Open in 2010, with Djokovic ousting Monfils in the quarterfinals in a three-set win, the first of those sets going to tiebreak.
Although Djokovic has not fully bounced back himself, it does not look like Monfils will be too much trouble for the Serb to get past - but he will have to face some form of a fight.
Prediction: Novak Djokovic to win in four sets