World Tour Finals 2013: Semifinal Predictions

Rafael Nadal vs. Roger Federer

Roger Federer has had an interesting year.  He reached the semifinals of the Australian Open, the quarterfinals of the French Open, was runner-up in Rome, runner-up in Basel, made a number of final 8 or better showings at Masters 1000 events and won Halle.  He now finished second in his World Tour Finals group and faces the world #1 in the semifinal of this event.  If Roger Federer’s name were any player ranked outside of the top 6 in the world, we might be talking about a player who could be a real impact player in 2014.  For Federer, this has been a clear sign that what used to be his floor is more and more often his ceiling as a tennis player.

Rafael Nadal moves into the semifinal round having dropped only one set and playing at the best level he has reached since the US Open final.  He is 0-4 vs. Federer at this event.  Indoor tennis allows Federer to win some free points off of serves, prevents Rafa’s topspin from being quite so paralyzing, and Roger’s slice backhand can be an asset on this surface versus his nemesis.  Still, Rafa has to be favored.  He is #1 and he has controlled their head-to-head meetings even more than usual as of late.

I think Nadal takes care of his serve enough and plays good enough defense to elicit errors to win a tight match.

Prediction: Rafael Nadal d. Roger Federer 7-6, 6-4

Novak Djokovic vs. Stanislas Wawrinka

This is a potential classic if it reaches the heights we saw in Melbourne and New York.  Something tells me Novak has done enough to get to this stage and has more in his tank to try to claim his third World Tour Finals title.  Stan will have to dictate play and be the aggressor to win.  If Stan serves big and hits heavy shots, he can win this match.  I don’t think that Novak will let that happen though.  Nole served quite well in the third set versus Federer.   If Nole holds with relative ease, Stan is in trouble because he is the best return man in the game.   Stan has to be the bully to win this match, but the fast surface will likely take pressure off of Novak’s service games.

Prediction: Novak Djokovic d. Stanislas Wawrinka 6-4, 6-4

10 Comments Add yours

  1. jane says:

    Thanks Dan. Yes, those are the wise picks. But as a Nole fan, Wawrinka is a scary opponent. He’s really pushed Nole in some great matches this year, and Nole looked sloppy today versus Gasquet. I guess Roger has an outside chance in his match too but it’s hard to pick against Rafa in that match.

  2. Kimberly says:

    You were pretty good on these predictions Dan! Hoping it’s a great match tomorrow. Of course I’m loving nadal being one and winning but I am missing Murray a bit. It feels to me like djoker and rafa are so far above the others. It would be nice to have 4-5 strong contenders. I am thinking maybe wawrinla can do something in 2014? Delpo and berdych can beat the top guys but can’t seem to show the level of consistency against the rest of the field IMO. Well Murray will be back and should at least pose Rafole a challenge on hard courts. On grass I am thinking he is the best player now.

    1. Dan Martin says:

      I agree Murray is missed. I think tennis needs the big 3 plus 3-5 would be ideal. Federer is in that 3-5 but the gap is so vast at the moment between Rafa, Nole and the rest of the field. Murray is indeed missed.

      1. Kimberly says:

        They both had a great year. Novak had great consistency at the slams that nadal did not but nadal got the extra W. I think rafas might have been a little better because it was so unexpected. Not the comeback and the wins on clay but the hard court titles after 2 and a half years without a hard court title. I thought rafa had more top ten wins than any other player this year? Either way they both had a lot of top ten wins. Will rafa ever play Murray again? It seems like forever since they played? And before they stopped playing it seemed they played the so final of every slam. So what do we think do We think about Federer? Is he done?

  3. jane says:

    Yes, I think on grass Murray is the best right now. It will be interesting to see if he can defend that slam next year.

  4. jane says:

    I think both Delpo and Wawa could potential be threats next year, but it’s hard to say. Wawa can’t seem to get over the hurdle; he’s so close though. By contrast, Delpo is the only other player to have wins over all of the typical “big four” – Nole, Rafa, Andy and Roger. Plus, Delpo is hungry to back up his 2009 success. Will any of the young guys rise up? Perhaps that is the question.

  5. Kimberly says:

    Jane I don’t think delpo has the consistency. Just when you think he’s there again he goes and loses to Hewitt or like player in an important tournament. I dont think he is near the level of Nole or Rafa although he could beat them on a given day.

  6. Kimberly says:

    On grass Murray is the best I think. He really has a nice grass court game. I think he is the favorite for Wimbledon for sure. But that’s two tourneys. The rest of the tour seems to be the nadal djokovic show. We need Murray and a few other guys to catch fire

  7. jane says:

    Yes, you’re right Kimberly. So far Delpo is a wild card, but not consistent. It would be indeed be interesting to see others come into the fray.

    1. Dan Martin says:

      I hope Delpo becomes more consistent because as great as Rafa and Nole are those two plus Murray and Delpo would be a bit like when Lendl, Becker and Edberg were all so good or in 1999 when Sampras, Agassi, Rafter and Kafelnikov were dueling

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