2011 US Open – Nick’s Picks – Men’s Singles Semifinals

Roger Federer (SUI) vs. Novak Djokovic (SRB)

Federer’s win over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was some of the best tennis I have ever seen in my entire life. I want to congratulate Roger and his coach Paul Annacone, on a masterful strategy they put into place and there was no stopping Federer in the match. Everything he did was perfect, and he really didn’t give Tsonga a chance to breath. Beautiful tennis Roger!!!

Djokovic battled for the first three and a half sets before Tipsarevic was forced to retire with an injury. Djokovic won the first set in a tiebreaker, dropped the second set in a tiebreaker and then won the third set 6-0 and was up 3-0 in the fourth set when Tipsarevic had to stop. He has been to at least the semifinals of nine of the last 15 Grand Slams which is simply amazing!


There will be no surprises in this match as this is the 24th time these two have met. Federer is 14-9 in the previous matches and the last time they played, in the semis of the French Open, Federer won in four sets. Before that, Djokovic had beaten Federer three times in 2011 (semis at Australian Open, finals of Dubai and semis at Indian Wells).

I want to break this match down by each stroke…

Forehands: Both men have excellent forehands. I have to give a small edge to Federer here, but it’s close.

Backhands: This is where Djokovic has the advantage. Federer’s backhand has not been able to stand up to the heavy pounding from Djokovic and Nadal recently, but he was rolling it the other night against Tsonga and if he can do that against Djokovic he will be fine.

Serve: Both men have superb serves. I would give a narrow edge to Federer, but this is pretty even.

Return of Serve: Federer returns the serve really well, but Djokovic has the best in the game!

Movement: Both are phenomenal movers, no one has the edge here.

Slice: Federer is able to slice the ball a little better than Djokovic, but I don’t think this will be the determining factor in the match.

Volleys: I’d say they are pretty close to equal here, maybe a slight edge to Federer.

Mental: No doubt that they are even here!

This is a dream match, and right now the buzz in the crowd is that Federer is back. A win here would certainly help make that case, but Djokovic won’t forget that loss at the French Open and he wants this bad. This could really go either way and since I’ve broken the match down, I want to know who you think is going to win!

Nick’s Pick – Give me your prediction!

Andy Murray (GBR) vs. Rafael Nadal (ESP)

Murray became just the seventh man in the Open era to reach the semifinals of all four Grand Slams in the same year. With the win, Murray has extended his winning streak to 10 matches as he came into the tournament having won Cincinnati. After a scare early on, Murray has looked much more comfortable and is playing great tennis.

Nadal didn’t have much of a problem with Roddick in the quarterfinals as he jumped on his early and never relented. He’s now reached the semis of six out of the last eight Grand Slams and he is the defending champion here! He wants this title so bad, and it is going to take a massive effort to slow him down.


Nadal is 12-4 against Murray and has beaten him three times already this year, including in the semis of the French Open and Wimbledon.

I want to break this match down by each stroke…

Forehands: These two have very different forehands. Nadal hits with more spin than anyone, but he can also flatten it out and change the pace. Murray’s forehand is steady and reliable, but he doesn’t get the power that Nadal does.

Two-Handed backhand: Both men have tremendous backhands. Because Nadal is primarily a right-hander, his backhand is extremely powerful and when he hits it down the line, watch out! Murray’s backhand is great as well and it is one of the two-best in the entire game. He can hit any shot in the book from the backhand side, and he doesn’t make many errors.

Serve: Neither of these guys depend on the serve for a majority of their points. Murray has been able to improve his serve over the last few years, but so has Nadal. I don’t think this is going to be the determining factor of this match.

Volleys:  Both are excellent volleyers, but I think Murray has a little more feel around the net.

Movement: What can I say? Both are great movers! Both stand behind the baseline and like to run, run, run! Perhaps one of them will slip in a little and take the ball early to catch their opponent off-guard.

Return of Serve: Murray is one of the best returners in the game, so a slight edge to him.

Slice: A little bit more of an edge to Murray, but both men are excellent.

Mental: Murray has definitely improved, however, this is where Nadal thrives. Nadal is able to go harder than his opponent every time out and this is really where he is able to make a difference.

You can see how badly Nadal wants this title, especially after the summer he has had. He’s confident, aggressive and as determined as I have ever seen. Can Murray stop him? I’ve broken down the match, and I want your feedback on who is going to win!

Nick’s Pick – Give me your prediction!

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~ by Nick's Picks on September 9, 2011.

4 Responses to “2011 US Open – Nick’s Picks – Men’s Singles Semifinals”

  1. You’ve broken both matches down perfectly. It’s hard to see anyone beating djokovic for some reason. Maybe it’s because of all those big new RBCs giving him strength & stamina, my what an edge. I hope RF can be the victor, but we’ll see. As far as Rafa and Andy, this is also going to be close and hard fought. without a day in between for either as well. I like both of their chances. But, since I’m a big fan of professional sportsman possessing integrity, heart, and kindness I’ll just say Buena Suerte Rafa and Vaya con Dios.

  2. Well nick.
    I want youre prediction as well because you are one of the best tennis analysers in the world.
    This are my picks
    Fed def Djo 6-3 3-6 7-6 6-4
    Nad def Mur 7-5 7-5 6-2

  3. Amazing match! I’m so glad that Novak won, though, because all the Federer worship is just so nauseating. Novak may not be a saint, but at least there’s not nearly as much nauseating worship of him out there as there is of Federer. Hope the final will be just as exciting as this SF. I can be happy no matter who wins.

  4. @Jon What are you talking about, Djokovic will never be a legend of the game as is Federer. No elegance, no class, no style, just a clown with a ‘nauseating’ attitude.

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