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Are we destined for a Novak Djokovic vs. Carlos Alcaraz Wimbledon men’s singles final? Universal Tennis INSIGHTS says so. Let’s dive into Friday’s Wimbledon semifinals.
(8) Jannik Sinner (UTR Rating 16.17) vs. (2) Novak Djokovic (16.39)
Jannik Sinner will have his chance at revenge on Friday. Just one year ago, Sinner led Djokovic 7-5, 6-2 in the Wimbledon quarterfinals. The Italian was on the verge of his first Grand Slam semifinal. But, like Djokovic has against so many other younger – and older – players, he rallied to erase the deficit and advance.
Djokovic would go on to win his seventh Wimbledon title, a tally he’s hoping to add to this week. But not if Sinner can apply his lessons learned during their semifinal. First things first: Get another two-set lead on Djokovic, who has dropped only two sets through five matches.
“First of all, you have to go up two sets to love,” Sinner said. “Physically, I have improved. I'm much stronger. I can stay on court for many hours without suffering. Also, mentally you're going in a slightly different mental side on court knowing you are also a Top-10 player. It is a little bit different. You might go as a favorite most of the time on the court until certain rounds of the tournament. Also, this is different."
“I think also game-wise or tennis-wise, I feel better," Sinner added. "If I have to play the slice, I can play now without thinking. Before was always a little bit different. I can go to the net knowing that I have good volleys. I have some good things now in my game, and hopefully, I can use it in the right way.”
Sinner is 0-2 against Djokovic, who will be competing in his 46th Grand Slam semifinal, tying Roger Federer’s record. Djokovic has won 33 straight matches at Wimbledon and is seeking his fifth consecutive Wimbledon title and a record-extending 24th Grand Slam crown.
Djokovic said of Sinner: “From both forehand and backhand, he's smashing the ball really, really hard, trying to be the one that is going to dictate the point from early on. I know his game well."
As evident by his on-court prowess, Djokovic’s three-month UTR Rating (16.36) shows that he’s surging at the right moment, especially compared to Sinner’s (16.10). Universal Tennis INSIGHTS pegs Djokovic as a 63% favorite to reach his ninth Wimbledon final.
(1) Carlos Alcaraz (16.41) vs. (3) Daniil Medvedev (16.29)
Neither Alcaraz or Medvedev have played in a Wimbledon semifinal. So who will manage his nerves better? Alcaraz did a fine job of battling through the tensions in his quarterfinal against Holger Rune to advance to his second consecutive Grand Slam semifinal. Alcaraz, the reigning US Open champion, showed how much the win meant to him with a vocal celebration.
“It was nerves, tension. It was everything,” Alcaraz said. “The first set, it was really tough for me. A lot of nerves. I couldn't control it at all; was able to win the first set. The key to turn around a little bit my emotions. It helped me a lot that huge, that I scream after the first set to put out all the nerves and start to enjoy the moment, to enjoy the match. Smiling for me, as I said a few times, is the key of everything.”
Will he be smiling against Medvedev? Medvedev had his hands full against Christopher Eubanks, who was playing in his first Grand Slam quarterfinal. But Medvedev was locked in throughout the five-set contest and will try to stay that way as he attempts to reach his fifth Grand Slam final.
“There was a moment in the match I started just losing kind of everything, the focus, the momentum of the match, which can happen of course, at this level. Chris played well,” Medvedev said. “I'm happy that I managed to put it back together and step it up to be able to win.”
Medvedev's head-to-head series with Alcaraz is even at 1-1, although the Spaniard won their most recent matchup in straight sets at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells earlier this year.
“It's interesting to play someone like Carlos. He is amazing, amazing player... What he continues to do is just unbelievable. He doesn't stop. I don't think he will,” Medvedev said. “But I played a lot of great players in my career. I managed to win many times. So I'm going to try to do my best. If I show my best, I'll have my chances.”
Universal Tennis INSIGHTS gives Alcaraz a 56% chance of reaching his maiden Wimbledon final.