It’s down to four as Andy Murray, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Richard Gasquet contest the Wimbledon tennis semifinals, to determine which two advance to the 2015 Wimbledon Final (From 8am ET, Friday).
With the exception of Gasquet, whose surprise victory over two-time major winner Stanislas Wawrinka, has him in the first Wimbledon semifinal of his career, all of these men have been here before. They are no stranger to this stage or the next, as all three have been Wimbledon champions in the past as well, two of them doing so more than once.
Here is how the four men stack up with the sportsbooks: Novak Djokovic 8/11 (there is also action on Djokovic -139 vs the Field +119); Andy Murray 11/4; Roger Federer (pictured) 4/1; Richard Gasquet 28/1.
Here are the previews of the two semifinal matches with my predictions and betting picks advice:
(#1) Novak Djokovic vs (#21) Richard Gasquet Preview & Betting Picks
Conventional wisdom says that the 28-year-old Djokovic has to be a runaway favorite to take home the victory in his semi en route to his third Wimbledon title. For starters, he is the defending champion and is coming off of a strong grass court season. He also entered the tournament as the winner of this year’s Australian Open, a slam he has won an incredible five times, and the runner-up from the French Open.
Djokovic is in great form and showed that as he cruised past (#9) Marin Cilic. Perhaps his biggest win however came the round prior as he soared back from a two sets to love deficit to defeat the hard-serving South African, (#14) Kevin Anderson. Djokovic showed great resolve as he battled back to get the victory and in the process, looked the part of someone who is very capable of winning yet another major.
But that’s not to say that Gasquet should be counted out so easily. The 29-year-old Gasquet lacks the championship resume of Djokovic, this being just the third semifinal of his career, but what he does have is a good game that suits well to the grass court surface.
His biggest win of the tournament came against Wawrinka, as Gasquet came back from a two sets to one deficit to defeat his opponent. Credit goes to Gasquet because at one point Wawrinka seemed poised to take over the match. The Frenchman didn’t relent however and managed to record a few key breaks en route to his fifth set 11-9 victory.
It’s safe to say this was not the semifinal many were expecting. It’s likely this wasn’t the opponent Djokovic had anticipated facing as well. The two have faced off 12 times in the past with Gasquet only getting the better of Djokovic once, back in 2007. It is fair to say that both players were at very different points in their careers, especially Djokovic, who hadn’t been nearly as dominant in his early years on tour.
For as good as Gasquet looks and how impressively his fitness level has held up throughout the tournament, it’s not enough to match the power, court-awareness and always on-point return game of Djokovic. Not to mention that Gasquet’s match lasted an extra grueling hour than that of Djokovic’s.
- Ultimately, this one won’t be even close. Djokovic has the easiest road to the finals and he’ll make it look easy too. Take Djokovic to win 3-0 (in straight sets) at 4/7 with 5Dimes Sportsbook.
(#2) Roger Federer vs (#3) Andy Murray Preview & Betting Picks
Before this year’s tournament began I believed that if there was ever another major the Swiss megastar was going to win, it would be Wimbledon. Ranked back as the second best player in the world and in the best shape he’s been in quite some time, it seemed likely that this Wimbledon could be that major. But Federer is a victim of the draw yet again because while Djokovic isn’t likely to face much of a challenge, Federer goes head to head with a tough competitor who also so happens to be the one man on this planet who is more beloved on the hallowed courts of the All-England Lawn and Tennis Club courts than Federer himself.
Federer and Murray’s rivalry has spanned 23 matches, with an all but even split (Federer has 12 wins to Murray’s 11) between the two. Federer does have a 7-3 edge in the last 10 however the pair are tied at one win apiece in their two meetings on the grass, both of which happened on the Wimbledon courts. Murray was victorious in the rematch, defeating Federer for the Olympic gold while Federer won their first major head to head since 2010, winning the 2012 Wimbledon title, which is the last one he has won to date.
Murray hasn’t taken a victory over Federer since the 2013 Australian Open despite the pair having met three times in 2014. However, it is worth noting, that Murray was in the middle of a bit of a slump as well as an injury recovery in that 2014 season, failing to win a major for the first time in two years.
This year has been a different story for the 28-year-old Scotsman as he finished as runner-up at the Australian Open, reached the semifinals at the French Open, and had the best clay court season of his career winning his only two titles on that surface. He started his grass court season with a record tying fourth title at Queen’s Club.
This is a tough one to predict. Both players have been having a strong tournament and both have been in the midst of strong years as well. But Murray has been just a little bit better and he is the one player who takes away the home court type of advantage the King of Grass gets as Wimbledon’s favorite-son. While crowd influence is not normally a factor in tennis, with a rivalry so evenly matched as theirs is, expect the audience to boost Murray to the level he needs to win.