Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal will meet for the 52nd time as they square off in one of the 2018 Wimbledon Men’s semifinals on Friday. The other semifinal features American John Isner and Kevin Anderson in the other tilt for a slot in the men’s finals. The action begins at 8:00am Eastern time on Friday, with the broadcast on ESPN. You can also livestream the action on the WatchESPN app. We have tennis betting previews for each matchup for you to peruse as you determine your wagering strategy for this round.
2018 Wimbledon Men’s Semifinals Betting Preview
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(2) Rafael Nadal vs (12) Novak Djokovic
If Nadal can knock off Djokovic in the semifinal, that would give each of them 26 wins in this epic series. However, Nadal will have to fill the tank in a hurry after needing five sets to knock off Juan Martin del Potro in the quarterfinals, a match that lasted four hours and 47 minutes. Del Potro won two of the first three sets before Nadal started chipping away and eventually got the win. He faces Djokovic at a time when Djokovic is looking for some degree of redemption, as he has not appeared in a Grand Slam semifinal since the 2016 U.S. Open. Injuries have slowed him to some degree, and in the quarterfinals he almost found himself on the wrong side of a match with Kei Nishikori, but he righted the ship to win, and he finds himself in the best shape of his career. Keep an eye on the first set here, because if Djokovic can win, the fatigue that will still have to be lingering in Nadal’s legs may take over from there, making the comeback win even tougher to pull off.
2018 Wimbeldon Men’s Semifinals Prediction: Nadal wins in four sets
(8) Kevin Anderson vs (9) John Isner
The match between Nadal and Djokovic will likely feature lengthy rallies. That is much less likely to be the case for Anderson and Isner, both of whom bring the kind of mammoth serves that produce aces in bunches, as well as setting up the opponent for weak returns that lead to fast points. Anderson pulled off an upset for the ages in the quarterfinals, falling two sets behind the top-seeded Roger Federer. However, Anderson won the third and fourth sets and then won a battle of endurance in the fifth set, prevailing 13-11. He made it to the semifinals of the U.S. Open, so he knows what it is like to last this long in a tournament, but now the pressure becomes even more intense. He has to let the excitement of coming back against one of the game’s icons calm down so that he can focus on the match ahead. In Isner, he faces an opponent who has a dominant serve and one of the strongest forehands in the game. However, his backhand is notoriously unreliable, and his defense is not an asset, which can turn into a big handicap on grass. These factors have kept him from advancing far into the Grand Slams — the only time he had even made it to a quarterfinal at a Slam event came in 2011, when he got to the round of 8 at the U.S. Open. These two have met each other several times over the years, beginning in the 2007 NCAA team final, when Isner, playing for the University of Georgia, beat Anderson (Illinois), 6-1, 7-6(1). There is a lot that will keep this match even, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see another five-set gem. At that point, one wonders whether Anderson will have enough left in the tank after needing 24 games to beat Federer in the quarters.
2018 Wimbeldon Men’s Semifinals Prediction: Isner wins in five sets