Del Potro vs. Nadal
|Date & Time||Friday September 8, 2017, 9:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Rafael Nadal and Juan Martin Del Potro meet in the semifinals of the 2017 US Open.
Rafael Nadal is coming off a straight sets win over Andrey Rublev that took 23 games to decide. In the victory, Nadal won 84 percent of his first serve points and 55 percent of his second serve points. Nadal is coming off an effortless victory over a 19-year-old in which he won 55 percent of his return points and provided 18 break chances. Nadal continues to play error free tennis and has been dominating with his serve in all of his matches. While the draw has been kind to Nadal for the most part, it does seem like he’s improving his play as the tournament goes along. Nadal has lost just 12 games in his last two matches combined. Nadal hopes to make his third grand slam final of the season and his fourth US Open final appearance of his career. Nadal hasn’t lost in the semifinals of a grand slam since the 2009 US Open. Nadal has won seven of his last eight matches on hard court.
Juan Martin Del Potro is coming off a four sets win over Roger Federer that took 44 games to decide. In the victory, Del Potro won 81 percent of his first serve points and 51 percent of his second serve points. Del Potro has been the surprise of the tournament, as he made a remarkable comeback against Dominic Thiem and had enough in the tank to slay the dragon in Federer, who has been unstoppable in grand slams this season. Del Potro has been very consistent with hi serve this season and has racked up the winners to balance out the unforced errors, as he’s hit 38 or more winners in three of his last four matches. Del Potro has shown in his last two matches that he should no longer be overlooked in this tournament. Del Potro hopes to make his second career grand slam final and first since the 2009 US Open. Del Potro is 1-2 in career grand slam semifinal appearances. Del Potro has won seven of his last eight matches on hard court.
These two have played 13 times in the past and Nadal has won eight of those meetings. The most recent match was in the 2016 Olympics, a match Del Potro won in three sets. Del Potro has won the last two matches against Nadal with the most recent loss coming in the 2013 Indian Wells Masters. Del Potro is 5-4 against Nadal on hard court.
It’s surprising that these two have played just once in the last three years, so the head to head doesn’t mean that much if we’re being honest. Del Potro proved me wrong against Federer and clearly has what it takes to put together a clean, effective match to beat anybody on any given day. However, Nadal has the rest advantage in this contest after playing such a quick match Wednesday afternoon, and he has both the serve and return working right now. There’s been zero dips in his game the last two matches and that’s when Nadal is most scary. Earlier in this tournament, I would have given Del Potro a chance to win this match. Now? Not really.
Look for Nadal to reach the US Open final.