US Open Men's Semi-Final Tips: Impressive Medvedev value to make the final

It's men's semi-final day on Friday at the US Open, and with the two tournament favourites facing each other, our tennis columnist, Dan Weston, looks at which one has the edge...

Medvedev the slight tournament favourite

Four players remain in the men's singles in New York, with the first of tonight's semi-finals getting started at 2100 UK time.

The first match on the card features the two outsiders for the title, Pablo Carreno-Busta and Alexander Zverev, and whoever wins this match will almost certainly be underdog for the final, regardless of who they play. Zverev is 5.10 for the title, with Carreno-Busta the real outsider at 19.00, with the other two semi-finalists, Medvedev and Thiem sharing around 75% of the outright market implied odds between them. Medvedev is currently trading as the 2.52 tournament favourite, with Thiem a little further back at 2.78.

Zverev accurately priced to make first Slam final

In this first semi-final, Zverev looks accurately priced at 1.40 to get the better of Carreno-Busta and make his first Grand Slam final. In fact, it would be the first Grand Slam final for whoever wins this encounter, and based on service and return data, my model broadly agreed with the market line.

It's interesting to note that to get to this stage, Zverev (833 minutes) has actually accrued the most court time of any semi-finalist here, playing almost two hours more than Carreno-Busta. This isn't a positive for the German, although he does have a higher sets won and games won percentage in the five matches played so far.

Medvedev with data advantage over Thiem

Moving on to the higher-profile semi-final between Medvedev and Thiem, unsurprisingly (given the outright market) Medvedev is the slight pre-match favourite, priced at 1.85 on the Exchange at the time of writing.

To me, this looks big. Medvedev, based on 12-month hard court data, has much more impressive numbers, winning a higher percentage of service and return points, and I have perceived him to be a better hard-courter than Thiem for some while now.

Not only this, but Medvedev is yet to drop a set in the tournament so far, and has won 67.6% of games in the tournament compared to 66.4% for Thiem, and has a combined service/return points won figure of 118.9% in the five matches to get to this stage - the best of any of the four remaining men's semi-finalists.

It is evident, based on these numbers, that Medvedev has played very well to get to this stage, and while he's perhaps had to play a slightly lesser calibre of opposition to Thiem in the matches here so far, the Russian has done all that can be asked of him at this point.

Last year at the same tournament, Medvedev lost an epic five-setter to Rafa Nadal at this stage, but I think he can go at least one better here and be celebrating a place in the final this evening.

Russian Tennis Player Daniil Medvedev

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