Novak Djokovic (SRB) vs. Tomas Berdych (CZE)
Djokovic played fantastic tennis in his straight set win over Yen-Hsun Lu in the quarterfinals and is into the semis of Wimbledon for the second time in his career. This was his fifth consecutive appearance in at least the quarters of a Grand Slam and he is really on a roll. There hasn't been much talk about the Djoker thus far, but with Federer losing the draw is wide open and he has an excellent chance at winning his second Grand Slam title.
Berdych did what many people have tried and failed to do: beat Roger Federer on grass at Wimbledon. He served exceptionally well and picked on Federer's backhand throughout the match. This is his second-straight Grand Slam semifinal and it's the first time he has been to the semis at Wimbledon. This could be the tournament where Berdych finally fulfills all his potential!
Djokovic is 2-0 against Berdych, with both of those wins coming in straight sets on hard courts. With Federer out now, this is a prime opportunity for one of these men to take home a Grand Slam title. Berdych comes in playing excellent tennis, but Djokovic may even be playing a little better. I believe Djokovic will have an easier time returning Berdych's serve than Federer did and I also feel that Djokovic's serve is back to where it used to be. This match really could go either way because both men are playing so well. I just think when you combine Djokovic's experience of already having won a Grand Slam with his ability to return serve so well, that will be the difference.
Nick's Pick - Djokovic in 4 sets
Rafael Nadal (ESP) vs. Andy Murray (GBR)
Nadal dropped the opening set in the quarters against Robin Soderling, but then bounced back to win the next three sets with relative ease. After having to go give sets against Petzschner in the third round, Nadal has show no signs of the knee injury which is great to see. With Federer now out, Nadal is the odds-on favorite to win this tournament.
Murray took down Jo-Willy Tsonga in four sets to reach the semis for the second straight year. The set he lost against Tsonga was the first he dropped all tournament. He has played arguably the best tennis out of everyone and with the English media now focused solely on him, it will be interesting to see how he responds to the pressure.
Nadal is 7-3 against Murray and beat him at Wimbledon back in 2008 in the quarters in straight sets. Let's compare these two stroke-for-stroke because I really feel this match could go either way. If you look at the forehands, they are really close but I give a slight edge to Nadal because he can hit with flat or with spin and as a lefty he can flick it easier than a righty. I would say that Murray's backhand is a little bit better, however, Nadal has improved his dramatically because he uses his top hand much better than he did before. Their serves are equal, but because Nadal is a lefty he has the advantage due to the fact that he can slide it out wide on the ad side taking Murray off the court. I would say their volleys are equal. Murray definitely has the advantage on the return of serve and they are both superb movers. The crowd will no doubt be rooting for Murray, but Nadal has been in more of these situations in the past and you have to give him the edge in the mental game.
If you look at the stats and their records this year, you have to think that Nadal will win this match, but I think this could go either way. I give a slight edge to Nadal, but don't be surprised to see this go to Murray.
Nick's Pick - Nadal in 4 sets