2019 US Open Semifinals Betting Preview: Nadal vs. Berrettini, Dimitrov vs. Medvedev

2019 US Open Semifinals Betting Preview: Nadal vs. Berrettini, Dimitrov vs. Medvedev article feature image

Robert Deutsch, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Matteo Berrettini

  • The 2019 US Open Semifinals take place on Friday at 4 p.m. ET (ESPN) with Grigor Dimitrov vs. Daniil Medvedev and then Rafael Nadal vs. Matteo Berrettini.
  • Sean Zerillo previews both matches and provides betting strategies for Friday evening:

A slam semi-final with only one member of the Big Three in action? A rarity in this era of men’s tennis, as one of Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal have won 16 of the past 19 ATP slams – with Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka sneaking in there for the other three.

Nadal is looking to extend the current streak of Big Three dominance to 12 straight slams, and he’s currently listed at -371 in the futures market to capture his fourth US Open and 19th slam title.

Will Matteo Berrettini test Rafael Nadal on Friday? And who might Nadal face in the finals if he does advance?

New to betting on tennis or want to learn more about the sport? Click here to read our tennis betting primer.

Friday ATP Bets

All odds via PointsBet and current as of 11 a.m. ET.

Grigor Dimitrov vs. Daniil Medvedev (-213) | O/U: 39.5

  • Time: 4:00 p.m. ET
  • Where: Arthur Ashe Stadium
  • H2H: Tied 1-1

Based purely upon the metrics, Medvedev should probably be as big of a favorite against Dimitrov as Rafael Nadal is against Matteo Berrettini in the nightcap.

The Tennis Abstract US Open Forecast projects Medvedev as a 90.3% favorite, equivalent to fair odds of -931, while it shows Nadal as 89.2% likely to advance; fair odds of -826.

But based upon their current energy levels, however, it’s hard not to like the Bulgarian’s chances in here. Medvedev has played 18 more matches than Dimitrov since the French Open – with Friday marking his fourth consecutive semi-final appearance on the North American hard-court swing.

The lingering question is how much the past two days of rest have allowed Medvedev to recover. He was supposedly playing with a torn muscle and was set to retire against a playing-while-sick Stan Wawrinka had the Russian dropped the first set in their quarterfinal match. Naturally, Medvedev prevailed in a tiebreak and won in four sets in one of the stranger tennis matches I have ever watched. 

His hold/break numbers are elite – the only player truly on par with the Big Three when it comes to hardcourt figures. And his metronomic style is frustrating to play against – with his uncanny ability to send every ball back from both wings and odds angles; Medvedev is seemingly in every return game.

But he has looked like a player who has been on his last legs for weeks, and although he keeps winning his body has to give on him at some point.

The crowd will also be against him, and behind Dimitrov, the man who upset Roger Federer on Wednesday:

Dimitrov came back down 1-2, as a +800 underdog to defeat the World No. 3 Federer – a ranking which Dimitrov, the current World No. 78 (but soon to rise) first claimed in November 2017 after winning the ATP Finals.

The question is whether he can follow up that major upset with another significant effort – and overcome the frequent occurrence of a letdown performance following a win over a member of the Big Three.

Dimitrov benefitted from a second-round retirement by Borna Coric, but he was impressive in his straight-sets win over an in-form Alex de Minaur, who boasts a solid 105.1 combined hold/break number on hard courts.

Medvedev is a different player than the last two times that these pair have met, but I don’t know how his body will hold up throughout another lengthy match.

At the reduced price, I’ll back the Russian to win the first set only – knowing that there’s still a chance he could walk off of the court and away from the tournament if he falls behind early.

The Pick: Daniil Medvedev to win 1st Set (-160)

Matteo Berrettini vs. Rafael Nadal (-2000) | O/U: 31

  • Time: 6:00 p.m. ET
  • Where: Arthur Ashe Stadium
  • H2H: First meeting

Berrettini has more than doubled his year-long rate of return games won at the US Open, breaking serve 22 times throughout the fortnight including six times against Gael Monfils in their epic quarterfinal.

However, Berrettini was sloppy in the big moments of that match, hitting some bad double faults and needing five match points to put the Frenchman away.

His nerves will be called into question here, his first meeting against Nadal in the biggest match that he has ever played; mainly after Roger Federer physically and emotionally demolished him in the Round of 16 at Wimbledon.

But Berrettini has the talent and style to bully Nadal a bit in his service games, with his booming serve and forehand:

Similar to Wawrinka, Nadal appeared to be bothered during his quarterfinal match and noted that he suffered from cramps throughout the night as a result of a stomach bug.

He routinely clutched his right arm in the latter stages against Diego Schwartzman, and his serve was off-kilter – twice permitting the Argentine to rally back from two breaks down in the first couple of sets.

Nadal has his sights set on grand slam title No. 19, and he’s won all four slams where Djokovic and Federer were in the draw but failed to make the semifinals.

Berrettini’s service quality will dictate how long this match goes – because as soon as Nadal becomes comfortable on the defensive end, it’s all but over for the Italian.

Berrettini is powerful and can hit winners from all over the court, but his movement isn’t nearly in the class of Nadal – and he will have an exceedingly difficult time breaking the Spaniard.

Even if you like Berrettini to take a set, I wouldn’t play the +8 game spread – as Nadal could easily bagel him to close this match out; and I also wouldn’t bet the over on the game total for the same reason.

For that reason, I would instead opt for Berrettini +2.5 sets, or the match over 3.5 sets at around +150 if you fancy Berrettini to test Nadal a bit- though it’s not something that I expect to play myself.

Bets (So Far) for September 6

Odds, especially live odds, swing quicker in tennis than in any other sport, so stay tuned on Twitter for my entire Tennis betting card for Friday, September 6. 

  • Daniil Medvedev to win 1st Set (-160)

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