Andy Murray (GBR) vs. Marin Cilic (CRO)
Murray played fantastic in the first two sets against Rafael Nadal in the quarters, and then Nadal retired midway through the third allowing Murray to advance. This is his first career appearance in the semis of the Australian Open and his third career Grand Slam semifinal. A win here would put him in the finals of a Grand Slam for the second time.
Cilic knocked out Andy Roddick in five sets and has now won consecutive five-set matches. This is his first career appearance in the semis of a Grand Slam and at the age of 21 he is certainly one of the best young players in the world. This is a big step for Cilic and if he continues on this path it won’t be long now until people start considering him a title contender each time he takes the court.
Murray is 3-1 against Cili, but the Croat did win the last time they faced (2009 US Open). Everything about Cilic is big. His serve, his groundstrokes, and his body! Despite that height, Cilic moves well and does a good job of covering the court. He is definitely controlling his emotions better which has enabled him to stay in more points longer. Against Murray this is going to be a must! Murray’s return of serve is going to be a big factor in this match. Once the ball gets into play, I believe Murray has the advantage. His serve is improved and his footwork is fantastic. This is going to be close, but I give a slight edge to Murray.
Nick’s Pick – Murray in 4 sets
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) vs. Roger Federer (SUI)
After dropping the third set to Djokovic 6-1 in the quarters, it looked like Tsonga was done. He dug deep though and was able to win the last two sets 6-3, 6-1. He has had great success at the Aussie Open in the past, reaching the finals in 2008 and the quarters in 2009. In fact, he must love Australia because he has never been past fourth round in any other Grand Slam.
Many people thought Davydenko had a good chance to beat Federer in the quarters, but he demonstrated once again why he is the best player in the world. Federer’s ability to step his game up in big matches is what makes separates him from everyone else, and when he is able to do this consistently: WATCH OUT!
Federer and Tsonga have played twice before with each player winning a match. Tsonga won the last time they faced which was in the quarterfinals in Canada. This match will be determined by Federer, and Federer alone. I’m not saying that Tsonga can’t win, but basically everything Tsonga does, Federer can do it a little better. He has the mental, physical and tactical edge and will need all of it for this match. I look for Federer to advance, but Tsonga will give him everything he has.
Nick’s Pick – Federer in 4 sets
Posted: 1/28/2010 9:34:04 AM