Monfils vs. Djokovic
|Date & Time||Friday September 9, 2016, 9:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Novak Djokovic and Gael Monfils meet in the semifinals of the 2016 US Open.
Novak Djokovic is coming off a straight sets win over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga that took 17 games before he retired due to injury. In the victory, Djokovic won 83 percent of his first serve points and 57 percent of his second serve points. Djokovic continues to luck out, as he’s only played two full matches this whole tournament and spent less than an hour and a half in the quarterfinals. Djokovic is as fresh as you’d like to be this far in the tournament and that’s bad news for the rest of the competition. The one thing Djokovic could improve on is his second serve that’s been hit or miss. Djokovic hopes to make his ninth grand slam final in his last 11 tries. Djokovic has won 20 of his last 21 matches on hard court.
Gael Monfils is coming off a straight sets win over Lucas Pouille that took 28 games to decide. In the victory, Monfils won 85 percent of his first serve points and 61 percent of his second serve points. Monfils has yet to drop a set this tournament and is coming off a match in which he had just 15 unforced errors. It’s fair to say Monfils may be playing the best tennis of his career and is extremely dangerous when his 100 percent focus is on winning the match. Monfils is capable of beating anybody in the tournament in his current form. This is Monfils’ second career grand slam semifinal appearance, and he hopes to make his first career grand slam final. Monfils has won 10 of his last 12 matches on hard court.
These two have played 13 times in the past and Djokovic has won 12 of those meetings. The most recent match was in this year's Canadian Masters, a match Djokovic won in straight sets. Monfils’ only win over Djokovic came in 2004. Monfils has lost 12 straight to Djokovic and has never beaten him on hard court.
I really want to side with Monfils in this match. He’s playing terrific tennis and has the ability to beat Djokovic in his current form. However, Djokovic is well rested and has owned Monfils over his career. Granted, majority of those matches weren’t against a focused Monfils like he is now, but history will come into play if the Frenchman gets down early.
Want and am rooting for Monfils, but Djokovic is the smarter pick if you're looking to make money.