The resplendent Arthur Ashe stadium is set to witness two epic semi-finals of US Open 2016, setting a landmark for all the four competitors in its own way. The winner of the tournament will take away $3,500,000 while the finalist and semi-finalists will collect $1,750,000 and $875,000 respectively.
The first semi-final of the last major of the year will be played between world No.1 Novak Djokovic and world No.12 Gaël Monfils. While Monfils has not dropped a set yet, Djokovic has been showered with 3 walkovers, dropping one set en route against Jerzy Janowicz in the first round.
Djokovic leads their head-to-head tally by 12-1, with the Serbian winning last 12 of them in succession and also dominating them. Djokovic will now be into his 10th consecutive semifinal appearance in New York while the Frenchman’s best prior result here was the quarterfinals last year. Monfils may be the superior of the two in terms of athleticism and flexibility but, Djokovic remains the more skillful and consistent of the two. Also, the fact that Djokovic has called out the trainer during two matches signifies there might be something serious about the problems he is facing between his wrist and elbow, which could turn things around for Monfils. But, Djokovic has the ability to pull of a win even during unfavorable situations.
PREDICTION: Djokovic wins in 4 sets.
The second semi-final of the last major of the year will be played between Stan Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori, who defeated Del Potro and Andy Murray respectively in the Quarterfinal. Nishikori, who has been in top form since his bronze medal win at Olympics has had a great history at US Open. Whereas, the two time Grand Slam champion Wawrinka has underperformed lately, but has shown flashes of brilliance at the tournament.
The Swiss leads their head to head record 3-2. While the single handed backhand of Wawrinka remains the strongest shot in his collection, Ninja Nishikori plays dominant both at baseline and at the net. Nishikori is also a consistent server for his height and it would be a key factor to ensure that he seals the match. The Japanese No.1 won their last meeting at the Canadian Masters in straight sets, so it will be interesting to see how Wawrinka will challenge him on court.
PREDICTION: NISHIKORI WINS IN 5 SETS.