While the other men’s semi-final between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer looks tough to call, Novak Djokovic will be expected to ease through his against Roberto Bautista Agut as he looks to defend his Wimbledon title and be victorious at the event for the 5th time. Bautista Agut was the shock semi finalist from a quarter that included former Wimbledon finalists in Milos Raonic and Marin Cilic amongst others.
The Spaniard does deserve major credit for easing through his draw as perceived stronger players fell but this run is a surprise even for him, with his plans for the weekend putting him elsewhere. “I had planned to be in Ibiza right now, we had everything organised already. My friends, six of them, are all there.” he said after his four set win over Guido Pella. His stag do will now begin in London, as he looks to achieve an unexpected final placing.
“My shots are really, really flat. I like to take the ball early, to be solid. With experience of coming year by year to the grass, I really learn more about the movements on the grass. I feel I can play a solid game also from baseline and I can really develop the good things I do on the court here on grass.” he said on how he has adapted on the grass this year, after not achieving success otherwise.
The big three have been blitzing their opposition this fortnight and Djokovic has been no exception. He did find himself down a break in the opening set but then reeled off 10 straight games to blow away David Goffin in straight sets 6-4 6-0 6-2. “I’ve been playing [my] best tennis in this tournament in the past two rounds, the fourth round and today, especially today [in the] second set and third set against Goffin, who was in-form. I felt like I managed to dismantle his game and always find the right shots. Very pleased with the performance,” Djokovic said afterwards.
Djokovic has actually lost both his matches to Bautista Agut this season, falling in 3 with sluggish performances in Doha and Miami but the five set format clearly plays in his favour. Of those considered outside the very top tier, the 23rd seed remains one of the most consistent and this place in the final four is a great reward for his hard work.
Prediction – Novak Djokovic in straight sets