The top half of the men’s draw has been whittled down to just two players: defending champion Novak Djokovic and 23rd seed Roberto Bautista Agut, whilst in the bottom half Roger Federer will renew his rivalry with Rafael Nadal. World #1 Djokovic, playing in the last four at Wimbledon for the ninth time, is understandably the heavy favourite against a player competing in his first Major semifinal. But the Spaniard has given him trouble in the past. Offering their predictions for this clash are Eric Han, Yesh Ginsburg, Harsh Bhoot and Jim Smith.
Novak Djokovic vs Roberto Bautista Agut
Eric: Bautista Agut has already beaten the Serb twice this season, but it will be an extremely difficult task for Bautista Agut, who is playing his first ever Grand Slam semifinal. The Spaniard will have to find a way to play as Goffin did in the first set of the quarterfinal and not allow Djokovic dictate rallies by playing aggressively. If he does, it could be a close battle, but the world #1 should have enough to get through.
Prediction: Djokovic in four
Yesh: Bautista Agut has actually had the upper hand in this matchup recently, but playing Djokovic at a Slam is a different matter entirely. Djokovic looks too strong, and Bautista Agut plays too defensively. You can’t beat Djokovic from behind the baseline. Especially on grass.
Prediction: Djokovic in 3
Harsh: Bautista Agut likes taking on Djokovic if the past two meetings are anything to go by. But the Serb has looked so assured and has served well for the majority of his Wimbledon campaign. This is by no means an easy matchup for Djokovic, but Bautista Agut will be playing his first Grand Slam semifinal and could be overawed by the occasion. It could become a long and tight match, but the Serb looks the more likely to find that extra ounce of belief to see him through.
Prediction: Djokovic in 5
Jim: Whilst Bautista Agut has beaten Djokovic three times, he’s lost to him on seven occasions, including in all three of their Grand Slam meetings. The Spaniard does have a game well-suited to grass thanks to his flat, penetrating groundstrokes, but Djokovic is even more accomplished on the surface. The Serbian can expect to be tested, but it takes something mighty special to beat Djokovic in the Wimbledon semifinal. Something I’m not sure Bautista Agut has in his locker.
Prediction: Djokovic in 4
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