2017 Australian Open Men’s Semifinals Preview and Predictions Including Federer-Wawrinka

during the men's singles semi final against **** on day seven of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena on November 21, 2015 in London, England.

Three multi Grand Slam champions, and a relative newcomer have filled out the 2017 Australian Open semifinals, as the possibility of yet another Rafa vs. Roger Grand Slam final is in the cards. Both Federer and Nadal are favorites to reach the men’s final. Our panel of Steen Kirby, Jake Davies, and Yesh Ginsburg is on hand to offer their analysis and predictions.

(17)Roger Federer vs. (4)Stan Wawrinka

Steen: The two greatest players in Swiss tennis history haven’t played since 2015. Federer dominates the h2h of course, but Wawrinka was a late bloomer in terms of being elite, and the matchup is closer than it looks on paper. Wawrinka had the tougher quarterfinal opponent, but they both weren’t on the court very long in their last matches, and should be fresh and fit. Federer has been taking control of points this tournament, moving forward, and serving well. Presuming he keeps that up, his forehand will outwork Wawrinka’s backhand and earn him the match. Federer in 4

Jake: Federer leads the H2H 18-3. All three wins for Wawrinka came on the clay, twice in Monte Carlo and once at the French Open, where he would have had a lot more time on the ball to set up on his one-handed backhand. Wawrinka with time is the most dangerous player on tour. At the Australian Open the conditions will play to Federer’s strengths. He will enjoy the quickness of the court that allows him to move forward whenever he wants and will try to quicken the whole match up to disrupt the rhythm of Wawrinka. Federer in 4

Yesh: This all-Swiss matchup is going to be a tough one to predict. The head-to-head is extremely lopsided, but when Wawrinka is at his absolute best he can hit Federer off the court. He’s not quite at that level yet this tournament, but he always gets better in later rounds of Slams. Still, Federer has looked impressive this entire tournament. If Wawrinka can push it to five sets then maybe Federer’s six-month hiatus from tennis could matter, but Federer is playing too well right now. Federer in 4

(9)Rafael Nadal vs. (15)Grigor Dimitrov

Steen: Both Nadal and Dimitrov left nothing to chance in the quarterfinals, prevailing in straight sets, with few signs of weakness heading into this matchup. Dimitrov beat Rafa at the end of last year, and that should give him belief. However the weight of evidence is 7-1 in favor of the more experienced Nadal. A faster court gives Dimitrov a chance, but if you’ve seen Rafa play these last two weeks, you’ve seen why he should be the favorite to win the clutch points and take this match. Nadal in 4

Jake: Nadal leads the H2H 8-1. Expect Nadal to come through this match up maybe in 3/4 sets. Nadal lost the last meeting in Beijing, but Nadal dominates this match-up. I think over a Best of 5 format it makes it even tougher to see huge upsets unless a top player comes up against an inspired player like Istomin was vs Djokovic, but overall, Nadal would be a lot more vulnerable in this semifinal in a Best of 3 match. Dimitrov’s had a fab tournament. Had one of the best individual performances of this fortnight when he beat Richard Gasquet, but his special run comes to an end on Friday night to Nadal. Nadal in 3 sets

Yesh: Is the Federer-Nadal final really what we’re looking at here? Nadal has come through and unexpectedly beaten all challengers here without much trouble at all. Dimitrov has always been able to play Nadal close (a match from Cincinnati a few years ago stands out in my mind), but he is not quite at the form that he showed 2-4 years ago either. Nadal in 4

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