(July 4, 2013) -- While the top two seeds appear to be on course for the men's finals, as we've learned all fortnight, anything could happen as the Gentlemen's Semifinals are set for Friday.
Novak Djokovic vs. Juan Martin Del Potro
Head to Head: Djokovic Leads 8-to-3
For a man who looked on his way to the hospital early in his match against David Ferrer, Juan Martin Del Potro
's straight-sets win proved he has the guts and the power to perhaps claim a second Grand Slam title. He goes into this contest versus Djokovic as the underdog. But the Argentine held the same status in the bronze medal match at the Summer Games, where he emerged as the surprise victor over the Serbian.
This 12th meeting between the pair will likely come down to each man's serve. Del Potro used his towering torpedo of a delivery to full effect in dismantling Ferrer. But Djokovic is several notches above Ferrer in the return department. The famously flexible Djokovic will be forced to stretch to cut down the angles Del Potro can create with his serve and not allow the Argentine to get into the comfortable serving groove he locked into versus Ferrer. Djokovic himself has only been broken four times during the fortnight. That's a staggering stat from Djokovic, who feels he is playing his best grass court tennis ever. Even better than when he won the title during his magnificent 2011 season.
Neither man has dropped a set during their trips to the Wimbledon semis - a first in the Open Era. Del Potro will probably need to win the first set more than Djokovic, especially if the Argentine's banged-up knee continues to bother him. Going five against Djokovic is likely a prospect Del Potro doesn't want to think about no matter how many "magic pills," as he described them, a doctor gives him.
Del Potro and Djokovic's last meeting at Indian Wells this spring was a memorable battle, with the Argentine prevailing in three tough sets. This one could go the distance, too. But it's likely that the Serbian will find a way to keep running down his dream of a second Wimbledon title.
Pick: Djokovic in 4
Jerzy Janowicz vs. Andy Murray
Head to Head: Tied at 1-1
Is the big-serving Pole that much of a surprise at this year's Wimbledon? Yes, he did advance through the section that was vacated by Roger Federer
and Rafael Nadal,
but Janowicz's own play to his first ever Grand Slam semifinal continues to impress. He has hit the most aces of anyone in the event (94) and it is that big serve that has often set up massive forehand winners from the 6-foot-8 Lodz native. But Janowicz is a more complete player than some might think. He moves extremely well for a man his size and has delicate touch at his command. It is no wonder that many tennis pundits view him as a likely permanent fixture of the top 10 in the next few years.
Janowicz takes on Murray, who once again is trying to end the drought of British champions at his home major. He looked impressive in the first week before a severe letdown in the early stages of his quarterfinals against Fernando Verdasco
forced him to up his level to complete a five-set win. Murray admitted that he feels the pressure from the locals (who wouldn't), but that he puts as much pressure on himself to win.
Murray in the semis of Wimbledon is nothing new for him, and he is the favorite. But if you are expecting Janowicz to be over-awed by playing in his first major semi, think again. Janowicz possesses huge confidence and probably will like playing the "villain" role as he attempts to thwart the Scot. Murray himself will expect many serves by the Pole to go whizzing by him. But Murray better have a good serving day himself. Currently, he is sixth in terms of winning first serve receiving points (105). Janowicz is right behind him in seventh place (102) proving again that Janowicz is more than just a big serve.
Murray, if he plays his best, should prevail. But if he falls behind early or gets involved in several tiebreaks, then Janowicz has the tools to pull off the upset. In a tournament filled with unexpected twists, a surprise finalist just might be the most expected development of all.
Pick: Janowicz in 4
(Photo Credit: Stephen White/CameraSport)