The semis of the Australian Open are set. Once again, it will include a Serb, a Swiss, a Brit, and a Spaniard (only this time it is David Ferrer instead of Rafael Nadal).
Going into their next match, Murray is still the only player yet to drop a set, while Federer and Ferrer are both coming off 5 set victories.
Here is what the matchups will look like in the semis:
#1 Novak Djokovic vs #4 David Ferrer
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15-3. That is the score—in favor of Djokovic— as far as sets are concerned in the last 7 hard court matchups for these two players. Not only that, but Joker has beaten Ferrer in straight sets both times they have played in the Aussie Open (2008 and 2012).
Yes, Joker has had his struggles so far in the open, but when it comes to Novak, I have learned that doubting him is never a wise decision. The man just seems to find another gear when he needs to. After a slight hiccup against Stanislas Wawrinka the round before, Djokovic had a much easier victory against the dangerous Thomas Berdych in his quarterfinal match.
Bottom line is: Even though Ferrer has great tenacity and heart, this match is completely on Novak’s racquet. Ferrer’s strokes are just weaker in every aspect of the game and Novak has won his last 19 matches in Australia.
Then again, Ferrer is used to his abilities being doubted and maybe he will come out and prove all of his doubters wrong once again. However, I don’t think that will be the case. In order for Ferrer to win, he will need lots of help from Novak and I don’t think he is going to get it. “Nole” shouldn’t give up more than a set.
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#2 Roger Federer vs #3 Andy Murray
This may be the match of the tournament. Both players come into this matchup extremely hot. Murray—granted, he has had a very easy path to the semis—has yet to lose a set, while Federer was not broken for the first 4 rounds of the tournament. Somehow in the shadows of Fed/Nadal, Nadal/Joker, and Fed/Joker, the quality of this rivalry has somehow been overlooked despite the fact that is has been extremely competitive and unpredictable.
In their last 6 hard court matchups, they have each won 3.
Murray leads 10-9 overall, while Federer leads 3-0 in Slams.
Fed has won 4 out of the last 6, while Murray has won 2 out of the last 3.
The list just continues…
So who has the edge in this semi-final matchup? The bottom line is, a very solid argument could be made for either player. However, I am going to pick Fed (I know, how bold of me to pick the most successful tennis player in history). Mainly because Federer has managed to own Murray in slams and has faced more quality opponents leading up to this match. Not that it’s anything Murray could’ve controlled, but Sousa, Berankis, Chardy, and an exhausted Simon aren’t exactly as challenging as Davydenko, Tomic, Raonic, and Tsonga.
In the end, until Murray shows that he can beat Fed on Grand Slam stage, I will always give the edge to Fed.
Follow Cole Stevenson on twitter: @Cole_Stevenson