Rafael Nadal v Juan Martin Del Potro over 40.5 total games @ $1.95
Nadal is the stumbling block that keeps on appearing for Del Potro. He blew him away at the French Open in the Semi Final (as expected), whilst the Argentine led 2-1 sets in the Wimbledon Quarter Final before Nadal took it out in five. If we go back to last year’s US Open Semi Final, once again Nadal denied Del Potro another opportunity of featuring in a Grand Slam Final. Reality is, the Argentine has only featured in one Grand Slam Final when he won the 2009 US Open and since then he has been knocked out at the Quarter Final stage in five occasions, and Semi Final stage three times. Of those eight losses, seven have been to the big three – Nadal, Federer and Djokovic. So, the question is can Del Potro finally clear the obstacle that is Rafa and advance to his second ever career Grand Slam Final? He is playing amazing tennis, where Nadal has been shaky so far. The Spanish Bull was lucky to escape the Thiem Quarter Final, and the total games in his last three matches have been 54, 41 and 50. In the Wimbledon Quarter Final the total games came to 55 between these two, and I think in this Semi Final that the 40.5 game line will be cleared regardless of whether this contest goes to 4 or 5 sets. As for the winner, I think Del Potro at $2.28 is great value if he can overcome the Nadal demons – he’s certainly playing well enough to do it.
Kei Nishikori (+6.0) @ $2.10
I expect Djokovic to win this, but the $1.17 on offer is far too short for mine. The value is at the games line for Nishikori, who will be Djokovic’s first legitimate challenge this tournament. The Serbian who was probably expecting to face Federer in the Quarter Finals has had a dream run, playing only one player inside the top 50 (Richard Gasquet) and no one inside the top 20. As for the Japanese, he’s certainly had to earn his way to this spot with every opponent being inside the top 50 along with Marin Cilic (top 10) and Diego Schwartzman (top 15). Although it’s been an extremely comfortable lead- up for the Djoker, this may be at his disadvantage as he hasn’t had to play to his absolute prime. Nishikori will no doubt drag this out of him, taking a set off him at Wimbledon when he was still slightly underdone. He’s firing now and can possibly push this contest to four tight sets and stay within the 6-game head start. Djokovic to win 3-1 at $3.65 the value if you’re looking for a bit more than the $2.10 on offer for the Nishikori games line.