Saturday, 16 March 2013

ATP Indian Wells: Semi-Final Predictions

Rafael Nadal v Tomas Berdych
Tomas Berdych
The quarter-final showdown between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer turned out to be a bit of a damp squib as a seriously struggling Federer succumbed to an impressive Nadal, 6-4 6-2.  It was clear that Federer was hampered by a back complaint, but Nadal is playing much better than I anticipated so soon after his long break from the game.  He now takes on Tomas Berdych in the semi-finals, who beat Kevin Anderson for a sixth consecutive time with a comfortable 6-4 6-4 victory.  Berdych's form this year has been impressive and big points here (and potentially in Miami) will have a very positive effect on his rankings because he struggled at both these tournaments last year.

Nadal leads the head-to-head by 12 wins to 3, which includes 11 straight victories for the Spaniard with their last match coming on the clay courts of Rome last year where Nadal won 6-4 7-5.  Their last hard court match was down under at the Australian Open in 2012 where Berdych held set points for a two set lead before eventually succumbing in 4 sets in what proved to be a stunning match.  All the previous matches heavily point to Nadal, but I went for Berdych to make the final before the start of the tournament and I think he is playing great at the moment.  It will be a very interesting match, especially to see how Berdych copes against Nadal mentally, but I am going for the Czech player to scoop out a surprise win.

Prediction - Berdych to beat Nadal in 3 sets

Novak Djokovic v Juan Martin Del Potro
Juan Martin Del Potro enjoyed his best win of the year as he defeated Andy Murray, 6-7(4) 6-3 6-1 in a first match-up between the pair since 2009.  It was the first time Del Potro has beaten Murray on hard courts and a strong indication that he can break the top 4/5 this year.  He now faces a steeper challenge against Novak Djokovic, who dismissed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in just 53 minutes, 6-3 6-1.  It was a lame effort from Jo who did not play his best this tournament, but will be content with a quarter-final showing.  Since Del Potro beat Djokovic for the bronze medal at the Olympics last year, Djokovic has won all their matches and beat the big Argentine in Dubai a few weeks ago in a tight two set semi-final.  Djokovic is looking stellar at the moment and I do not think Del Potro will have enough in the tank to threaten the world number one.

Prediction - Djokovic to beat Del Potro in 2 tight sets

1 comment:

  1. Berdych has a shocking record against Nadal. His game doesn't stack up to it. Nadal in straights.