US Open Men’s Semifinal Predictions Including Rafael Nadal vs Juan Martin Del Potro


The 2018 US Open is headed towards a thrilling conclusion as former champions Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Juan Martin Del Potro remain in the field, while Kei Nishikori is still seeking his first slam title. Our panelists break down the matchups and offer up their predictions.

Novak Djokovic vs Kei Nishikori

Eric Han: Djokovic is on a 13 win streak against Nishikori, but the Japanese’s last win against Djokovic actually came at the US Open in 2014, and also at the semifinals. However, after Nishikori’s long physical battle with Cilic in the quarterfinals, a big question will be how much gas is left in Nishikori’s tank. I do expect Nishikori to challenge Djokovic and make it close in one set and maybe take the set, but I do not see Nishikori winning the match. Djokovic in 4

Jack Rossiter-Munley: Nishikori has only beaten Djokovic twice in their 16 encounters. That one of his previous victories came in the semifinals of the US Open will be a small confidence booster, but the bottom line is that the two men play similar styles of tennis and Djokovic is marginally better. The weather is supposed to be cooler on Friday neutralizing Nishikori’s greatest possible advantage: Djokovic has looked lost at times in three of his matches due to the heat. If it was a hotter day, Nishikori would stand a better chance, as it is, Djokovic in 4

Steen Kirby: With Djokovic playing well in the later stages of the tournament, it’s unlikely that even Nishikori at his best can win this matchup. Nishikori has had another great US Open but he should come up short at the last. Djokovic in 3

Yesh Ginsburg: Djokovic has been vulnerable at times this tournament, but Nishikori is probably not in position to take advantage. If he plays like he just did against Cilic he might have a chance, but eventually the time he’s put on court this tournament will catch up to him. Djokovic in 5

Utkarsha Mitra: I’d pick Nishikori. He is playing some really great tennis. He has beaten Djokovic at the same stage 4 years back. Djokovic, on the other hand, has looked fatigued throughout and required a few MTO’s as well. Nishikori in 5

Rafael Nadal vs Juan Martin Del Potro

Eric: This will be a rematch from last year’s semifinal match and will be a hard match to predict. It will depend on how Nadal is feeling physically, after the five-set tussle with Thiem, and also how del Potro responds to Nadal’s tactics. Nadal’s game plan will no doubt be to attack del Potro’s backhand, as it is usually a defensive slice, which can be vulnerable at times. This match will depend on whether how effectively the Argentine can respond to this tactic, if he can neutralize it, he has a chance. I will predict del Potro to win as I am not sure if Nadal is ready physically, and also del Potro has been playing at a high level all tournament. Del Potro in 4

Jack: Nadal has played two incredible matches displaying his physical stamina, mental toughness, and incredible talent. He will need all of his fighting spirit to withstand the onslaught of Del Potro’s groundstrokes. Del Potro’s forehand is always formidable, but it has been even more lethal than usual. It will be a close match, but Del Potro has shown the more convincing form thus far. Del Potro in 4

Steen: Nadal has grinded his way to this stage with clutch play and incredible mental toughness. That said, his actual form has been shaky at times and Del Potro looks to be in better form. Presuming Del Potro can dictate the rallies he has an advantage. Del Potro in 4

Yesh: Nadal’s match was too long and grueling, and Del Potro has actually been efficient throughout this tournament. Nadal hasn’t been at his best this tournament either. It’s been enough to get him this far, but he’s going to get blasted off the court by the Argentine. Del Potro in 3 

Utkarsha: Del Potro’s 3rd US Open semifinal. On both previous occasions he faced Nadal. Lost last year. But this year can be different. Rafa hasn’t looked the best thus far, but the win over Thiem is surely going to boost his confidence. This could be a long match! Del Potro in 5

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