Tue, Sep 6, 1:37pm by Senior Writer
As they have since before the tournament started, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray look destined for an eighth Grand Slam final, with both posting very comfortable progression to the final eight.
Djokovic’s first round battle with Jerzy Janowicz has proven his sternest test to date after his second and third round opponents retired, leaving him to play just four sets of completed tennis to get through to the fourth round. There he dropped just seven games against Kyle Edmond, looking dominant and fresh as he ever has been at this stage of the tournament.
Murray progressed to the final eight courtesy of an embarrassingly easy 6-1 6-2 6-2 win over Gregor Dimitrov in the fourth round. Dimitrov looked completely outclassed, making a litany of errors as the Scot posted his fastest ever serve in a match.
Next for Murray is Japan’s Kei Nishikori, who he holds a 7-1 head to head record against and is rated a $1.29 chance to defeat. Nishikori, who lost in the semis at the Olympics to Murray, has improved as this tournament has worn on, and is a $4.95 to win this quarter final.
The winner of that match takes on the winner of Juan Martin del Potro and Stan Wawrinka, by far the tightest of the quarter finals as far as the market is concerned.
Wawrinka may be seeded No.3, but his form has been far from solid. He needed five sets to get past Daniel Evans in the third round and four sets to get past Ilya Marchenko. As a result, he is $2.31 outsider in this match against a high flying former champion Del Potro.
Del Potro ($1.64), the silver medallist in Rio, has continued his form revival by not dropping a set so far, knocking off three top-20 seeds along the way, Steve Johnson, David Ferrer and Dominic Thiem, who lasted just one set before succumbing to injury.
Del Potro has won the last four matches he and Wawrinka have played, including a four-set win in the second round at Wimbledon.
Djokovic is $1.14 to defeat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga ($5.80), having won 11 of their last 12 match-ups, while another Frenchman awaits in the semis, with giant killer Lucas Pouille ($5.30) playing Gael Monfils ($1.16). That French pair have only met once, with Monfils winning their first-round match at last year’s Australian Open.
A first Grand Slam semi-final since the 2008 French Open looks close to a sure thing for Monfils, who is 0-12 against Djokovic.
Serena Williams’ march to a historic 24th Grand Slam title win hits its toughest hurdle in the quarter against Simona Halep, the fifth seed. Williams is yet to drop a set and is $1.26 to win this match, and is 7-1 in her career against the Romanian, who is $3.85 to match her 2015 effort of making the semi-final.
Williams’ draw has opened up even more with fourth-seed Agnieszka Radwanska losing to Croatia’s Ana Konjuh in the fourth round. The unseeded 18-year-old plays Karolina Pliskova, seeded tenth, who beat Venus Williams in the fourth round.
On the other side of the draw, second seed Angelique Kerber has been ultra impressive in not dropping a set to date and she confronts No.7 seed and last year’s runner-up Roberta Vinci. Kerber is $1.13 to win this, and little wonder the way she has dispatched her rivals to date, but Vinci, who is $6.05, can’t be discounted having looked strong in her campaign to date and having won two of her four matches against the German.
There will be at least one unseeded woman in the semis with Caroline Wozniacki continuing her career revival with a straight sets win over No.8 seed Madison Keys in the fourth round. She is $1.33 favourite against Latvia’s Anastasia Sevastova ($3.34), who has surprised everyone with her own giant killing run to reach a career best stage of a Grand Slam.
Quarter Final Markets: (Sportsbet)
L Pouille $5.30 v G Monfils $1.16
N Djokovic $1.14 v J-W Tsonga $5.80
JM Del Potro $1.63 v S Wawrinka $2.29
Kei Nishikori $4.90 v Andy Murray $1.18
R Vinci $6.05 v A Kerber $1.13
Caroline Wozniacki $1.33 v A Sevastova $3.34
S Williams $1.26 v S Halep $3.85
A Konjuh v K Pliskova – TBA
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