Men’s Semifinal: [CR5] Rafael Nadal (ESP) vs. [CR94] Illya Marchenko (UKR)
Nadal got better as the match progressed, with the exception of a minor hiccup at the start of the second set when he squandered a slew of break points. However, he quickly regrouped and avoided a repeat of yesterday’s match when he lost the second set from a winning position. Today, he appeared to play with more clarity and purpose; he kept “the mental aspect” out of the picture and allowed muscle memory to dictate play. Marchenko was overwhelmed by the occasion. Unfortunately for him, he was not in the form that saw him dispatch the number four seed at the start of the tournament, followed by the subsequent defeat of two players ranked much higher than him. Nadal had no intention of being added to that statistic and the 6-3, 6-4 victory sends him into his 99th career final. Will he gain title number 68 tomorrow or will Novak Djokovic continue to deny him?
Men’s Semifinal: [CR1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) vs. [CR6] Tomas Berdych (CZE)
It was a much better effort from Berdych despite having the same negative outcome. For a few minutes, he almost convinced me that he could steal the first set and make this match interesting. There was never any real doubt that Djokovic would lose. When Berdych failed to take advantage of break points to secure an insurance break, I knew the match was over for him. Rattled by his failure to break, he crashed back to reality and that’s when the doubts rushed in. In 23 attempts he had only beaten Djokovic twice and he just blew his best opportunity to change that statistic in his favor. Djokovic was not playing at his best and to miss a rare opportunity like this will sting Berdych a bit. The 6-3, 7-6(3) defeat of Berdych puts Djokovic on a collision course with Nadal for the 47th time. They each have 23 wins, does Nadal turn back the hands of time and stun Djokovic tomorrow?