Wimbledon: Men's Semi-Finals Preview

Men's Wimbledon semi-finals betting preview for Wimbeldon 2017

The men's segment of Wimbledon enters its semi-final stage this Friday.

Things are building to a crescendo at the All England Club with the Wimbledon Men's semi-finals taking place this Friday. The semi-finals will see Marin Cilic take on Sam Querry and Tomas Berdych take on Rodger Federer.

Wimbledon Men’s Semi-Final | Friday 14 July | All England Club

Marin Cilic 3/10 | Sam Querrey 24/10

I wonder what odds you could have got on these two names being the representatives of the top half of the draw.  Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal’s shock exits have handed a rare opportunity for the hegemony of the so-called ‘top-four’ to be threatened this year. Marin Cilic seems to operate on a more logical basis. The Croat has always been seen as a potential grass-court specialist, but has been caught in quarter-final limbo here for the last three consecutive seasons. He managed to withstand the service avalanche of Gilles Muller in a way that Rafa could not, setting himself the perfect template for how to respond to the big-serving of Sam Querrey.

World Number 28 Querrey has fast built up the reputation as the giant killer on the hallowed turfs of Wimbledon. He accounted for the demise of Novak Djokovic last season; it was a result that really was the catalyst for a rather remarkable decline in the fortunes of the Serb. His 3-6, 6-4, 6-7 (4-7), 6-1, 6-1 victory over defending champion Andy Murray proved that he is more than just a one trick pony.

Having said that, that one trick is pretty captivating. Goran Ivanisevic's Herculean victory was proof positive that Wimbledon is perhaps the one slam that hinges most critically on an accurate service game. What amazed me in the defeat of Murray was Querrey’s mobility. Notwithstanding the fact that Murray was carrying a hip injury, Querrey seemed to be moving better than I have ever seen.

The one fundamental area of concern for Querrey will be his record against the former US Open champion Cilic. He has lost all four ties against the truculent Croat, including three previous Wimbledon encounters. Cilic knocked him out in 2009, 2012 and 2015, with the 2012 meeting going down as the second-longest match in Wimbledon history, clocking in at an impressive 5 hours and 31 minutes. That is perhaps indicative of exactly how tight this match will be if they go according to serve.

To Progress: Sam Querrey 24/10
While many will believe that Querrey’s extended time on court will be to his detriment, I think he looked fresher the longer the Murray match extended. Additionally, Cilic’s experience in the latter stages of a grand slam will obviously give hm some confidence that he can dispose of the lower ranked American. But I just have the feeling that this is Querrey’s time to put America back in a Grand Slam final. The last time that an American reached a Grand Slam semi-final was Andy Roddick in 2009. Querrey hit 70 winners against Murray and will be extremely motivated going into his first Grand Slam semi-final at the 42nd attempt.

Tomas Berdych  47/10 | Roger Federer 1/8

Moving serenely into his 12th Wimbledon semi-final, it seems that the Swiss legend’s decision to skip the clay court season is paying rich dividends. He is really playing some of the best tennis he has ever produced on centre-court, with that victory over a spirited Raonic essentially an exhibition of how to play grass court tennis.

Tomas Berdych benefited from Novak Djokovic’s elbow injury and will make his third appearance in a Wimbledon semi-final. The 2015 finalist has looked quietly commanding and has enjoyed success against Federer in Grand Slam tennis before. Though he possesses a negative 6-18 Career record against Federer, he could use the positive juju acquired in usurping Novak and debunking what was a 2-25 negative record.

In reaching his 12th Wimbledon semi-final at the age of 35, Federer became the second oldest Wimbledon semi-finalist since Ken Rosewall finished runner-up in 1974 - remarkably that was at the age of 39!

Federer hit 46 winners in his straight set victory over Raonic. The rejuvenated backhand has really been the tool that has resurrected the Grand Slam aspirations of the Swiss. He doesn’t feel the need to hit those risky run-around forehands every time he gets in a bind. It has to give him an increased stillness on that side that has unbelievably taken his game to another level.

When people speak about the top four - or top three and a half as they may cheekily refer - it’s perhaps Tomas Berdych who is the one that hovers just below the threshold of greatness. A seven-time Grand Slam semi-finalist, there has always just been that something missing that has prevented the Czech from breaking down the final barrier between himself and greatness. But if it were to happen, Wimbledon would surely represent the best natural fit to his game.

An accurate - if not devastating - server, Berdych is able to dictate points on his serve and has the ability to mix those groundstrokes with a willingness to venture forward and engage in net pyrotechnics. He will know that the opportunities to make that final Grand Slam impression are growing ever slimmer and I expect the Czech to be hugely motivated this Friday.

To Progress: Roger Federer 1/8
Berdych should also benefit from the fact that he was able to get some extra recuperation with Djokovic’s early retirement. But the indefatigable Federer has yet to drop a set en route to the semi-finals and looks the model of economic aggression. Just look at the stark contrast in performance between the Federer that dismantled Raonic this year and the one that surrendered two sets to one lead in last year’s semi-final. The amount of pressure that he was able to exert on almost every service game that Raonic had was testament to his current level. He also managed to save all five break points in that epic eighth game of the third set, showing that he was able to come up with the goods when the heat was turned up.
Written by Damien Kayat for @Hollywoodbets.net

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