Men’s Singles Semifinal – Friday, September 11, 2015 at the USTA National Tennis Centre, New York
H2H record: Djokovic leads 13-0
Novak Djokovic (1)
$1.13 at Sportsbet.com
2015 hardcourt record: 39-4
Marin Cilic (9)
$7 at William Hill
2015 hardcourt record: 9-4
The world number one and the defending champion will duke it out this Friday for a spot in the 2015 US Open final.
The winner will face either Roger Federer or Stan Wawrinka in the decider, after the Swiss stars eased past Richard Gasquet and Kevin Anderson respectively in straight sets.
It was much harder work on the other side of the draw, however.
Novak Djokovic ($1.13 at Sportsbet) battled through frayed tempers and Feliciano Lopez’s persistent serve-volley game to win 6-1 3-6 6-3 7-6 (7-2) on Tuesday in another hot and humid night session at Flushing Meadows.
The Serb treated the crowd to a spectacular tantrum after losing the second set, banging his racquet against his bag repeatedly and gesturing angrily towards the players’ box.
But Djokovic insisted after the match that he didn’t expect to have it all his own way against the 18th seed from Spain.
“[Lopez is] one of the rare players that actually serves [and] volleys on the first and second serve,” he said.
“I’m just glad to get through in four [sets]. Obviously, it was frustrating at times but this is quarterfinals of a Grand Slam, this is what you expect.”
His next opponent, Marin Cilic ($7 at www.Bet365.com), had an even tougher time against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
The Croatian looked to be cruising to a straight-sets win before Tsonga, fresh off treatment for a sore knee, took the third 6-3 and prevailed 7-3 in the fourth-set tiebreaker.
But the 2014 US Open champion bounced back to win the fifth set 6-4 and clinch an epic quarterfinal that lasted just under four hours.
“That was a big mental fight after that fourth set,” Cilic said after the game.
“It got physical towards the end. It was very hot.”
The 26-year-old may hope (perhaps in vain) for much more player-friendly conditions in the US Open semis as he looks to reverse his wretched record against the top seed.
Djokovic has claimed victory in every one of his 13 meetings with Cilic, the last of which was a 6-4 6-4 6-4 win in the Wimbledon quarterfinals earlier this year.
That head-to-head tally includes an 9-0 streak on hard courts, on which ‘The Joker’ has claimed no less than 38 of his 60 tour wins in 2015.
Cilic, by contrast, came into the tournament with a rather sketchy 4-4 ledger on hard surfaces, summed up by his first-up exit at the hands of Bernard Tomic at the recent Canadian Masters.
Match betting predictions
Novak Djokovic to win – $1.13 at Sportsbet.com
Marin Cilic to win a set – $2.15 at WilliamHill.com
Djokovic 3-1 set score – $3.75 at Bet365
Cilic may be the reigning champion, but he didn’t have to navigate Djokovic the last time around.
The head-to-head record says it all, really. The Serb has total dominance in this match-up, and that should remain the case on Friday night.
However, Cilic has put up a decent fight whenever these two have met in Grand Slam play, as only one of their four contests in the majors has ended in straight sets.
So get on Djokovic to book a final encounter with either Federer or Wawrinka, but also look for Cilic to get on the scoreboard.
More Men’s Singles semifinal odds
Friday, September 11, 2015
Roger Federer (2) – $1.30 at www.WilliamHill.com
Stan Wawrinka (5) – $3.62 at Sportsbet.com
There will be a Swiss player in the 2015 US Open men’s final, but the question is: which one? Federer has the obvious pedigree and a 16-3 lead in the head-to-head stakes, as well as a 26-2 record on outdoor hardcourts this season. Wawrinka has the recent honours, however, having beaten his compatriot in straight sets en route to the 2015 French Open title.
Best 2015 US Open outright odds
It’s no surprise to see Djokovic leading the US Open outright betting at our top-ranked online sportsbooks. But if you fancy an upset, WilliamHill.com is running a special futures market on the rest of the field against Novak.
Over in the women’s draw, Serena Williams is the unbackable favourite to complete the calendar-year Grand Slam by taking out her seventh US Open singles title. Naturally, Will Hill is offering very tasty odds on anyone else to get up and stun the 33-year-old American superstar.
Novak Djokovic – $1.85 at Luxbet
Roger Federer – $2.65 at CrownBet
Stan Wawrinka – $8 at William Hill
Marin Cilic – $26 at Bet365
The field versus Djokovic – $2.15 at William Hill
Serena Williams – $1.28 at Sportsbet
Simona Halep – $4.75 at Luxbet
Flavia Pennetta – $21 at CrownBet
Roberta Vinci – $67 at Bet365
The field versus Serena – $4.50 at William Hill
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