The “Big Three” are all through to the semifinal round at Wimbledon, headlining what is sure to be two very entertaining matches. Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal all made easy work of their respective quarters, losing a combined four sets between them. They are joined by surprising 23rd-seed Roberto Bautista Agut who has dropped only one set in five matches thus far.
How they got here:
Novak Djokovic def. P. Kohlschreiber 6-3, 7-5, 6-3
D. Kudla 6-3, 6-2, 6-2
H. Hurkacz 7-5, 6-7, 6-1, 6-4
U. Humbert 6-3, 6-2, 6-3
D. Goffin 6-4, 6-0, 6-2
Roberto Bautista Agut def. P. Gojowczyk 6-3, 6-2, 6-3
S. Darcis 6-3, 6-2, 4-2 (retired)
K. Khachanov 6-3, 7-6, 6-1
B. Paire 6-3, 7-5, 6-2
G. Pella 7-5, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
Roger Federer def. L. Harris 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2
J. Clarke 6-1, 7-6, 6-2
L. Pouille 7-5, 6-2, 7-6
M. Berrettini 6-1, 6-2, 6-2
K. Nishikori 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-4
Rafael Nadal def. Y. Sugita 6-3, 6-1, 6-3
N. Kyrgios 6-3, 3-6, 7-6, 7-6
J. Tsonga 6-2, 6-3, 6-2
J. Sousa 6-2, 6-2, 6-2
S. Querrey 7-5, 6-2, 6-2
Here is a look at the current odds (courtesy of FanDuel) for the semifinal round, and where you can find the best value in each contest.
Novak Djokovic (-1500) vs. Roberto Bautista Agut (+1040)
It is rare to see a favorite this big in a semifinal of a major tournament, but this is the respect Djokovic commands. He has won 31 of his last 32 major tournament matches, with the loss coming to Dominic Thiem in this year’s French Open. Djokovic and Bautista Agut have met 10 times with Djokovic holding a 7-3 edge. However, Bautista Agut has won the last two meetings (ATP Masters 1000 Miami and Doha Qatar). These contests were played on hard surfaces, and they have never met on grass.
Value Bets: Over 10.5 games in Set 1 (+270), Djokovic to win 3 sets to 1 (+260)
Given that there is no value in betting Djokovic’s ML, one has to get creative in order to maximize the returns in this match. Djokovic has been dominant this tournament, but Bautista Agut has been equally impressive with each only dropping one set. Bautista Agut has started all matches with a strong first set, while Djokovic has only gotten stronger as each match progressed. Look for Bautista Agut to hold serve well in the first set and push Djokovic, bringing the total amount of games in the first set over 10.5 games. In addition, Bautista Agut has been playing too well in this tournament to lose in straight sets. Look for Bautista Agut to lean on his head-to-head momentum against Djokovic for one set before ultimately succumbing to the better player in four.
Roger Federer (+122) vs. Rafael Nadal (-144)
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are both bidding to become the first man to win five Major Singles titles after turning age 30. In 39 career meetings, Nadal holds a 24-15 edge. However, the recent edge goes to Federer. If you dismiss Nadal winning in straight sets at this year’s French Open (Nadal’s best surface), Federer has won in straight sets (best of three-set matches) the last three times they have competed. In addition, Federer holds a 2-1 edge in meetings at Wimbledon, even though they haven’t faced each other since 2008. Two of these three meetings have gone five sets (Federer and Nadal each winning one), with Federer winning the other matchup in four sets.
Value Bets: Nadal to win 3 sets to 2 (+440), Federer to win 3 sets to 2 (+500)
This head-to-head matchup is too close to call. I give the slight edge to Nadal given that he navigated a more difficult quarter in dominating fashion. However, Federer has had the edge on grass over Nadal and will certainly push him in this match. If this match is half as good as their 2008 final, it will still be a classic. Federer and Nadal know each other very well and often bring out the best in the other. Instead of hemming and hawing over who will win, simply enjoy the high-level tennis that goes the distance and cash in on the great value that betting each player to win in five sets offers.