Thursday, January 24, 2019

2019 AUS OPEN: Men's Semifinals Preview

Here are my predictions for the men's semifinals at the 2019 Australian Open. Last year I correctly predicted 2 of 2 women's semifinals and 2 of 2 men's semifinalsThis year I have correctly predicted 3 of 4 women's quarterfinals and  correctly predicted 4 of 4 men's quarterfinals.

Novak Djokovic (SRB) [1] vs Lucas Pouille (FRA) [28].  World #1 Novak Djokovic had a mismatch with Kei Nishikori to reach his seventh semifinal in Melbourne while Lucas Pouille is playing in his first major semifinal of his career. In fact, Pouille was 0-5 at the Australian Open and has now won 5 matches in a  row at the tournament. Surprisingly, the two have never met on tour so  there's no head-to-head influence a prediction here. There's no question that Pouille could beat Djokovic, but will he? Very unlikely. In fact, Djokovic has always won the title in Melbourne (six so far) when he reaches this level of the tournament. Mad Professah's pick: Djokovic.

Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) [14] vs Rafael Nadal (ESP) [2]. 20-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas has already had a dramatic impact on the tournament by defeating 2-time defending champion Roger Federer in the 4th round. He was able to follow up that huge win without a letdown by defeating Roberto Bautista Agut in the quarterfinal. Because of that he has to face 17-time major champion Rafael Nadal, who took out another #NextGen player in Francis Tiafoe in the quarterfinal. The two have already played twice and Nadal won both matches, relatively easily in 2018. Even though Tstsipas is already better than he was last year, I still don't see how anyone prevents another Djokovic-Nadal final. Mad Professah's pick: Nadal.

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