It's men's semi-finals day at Wimbledon on Friday and tennis expert Scott Ferguson has a bet for each match
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Novak Djokovic v Roberto Bautista Agut
The problem with most players facing the world no.1 is they are almost beaten before they take to the court. Any pre-match analysis shows most need to rely on divine intervention for any chance of success. The situation with Roberto Bautista Agut is different though. Having beaten Novak Djokovic twice already in 2019, he knows is capable of winning this one.
That's easier said than done though. Defeating the best player in the world in Shanghai (2016), Doha and Miami is a long way from centre court at the All England Club. Djokovic isn't messing around this week, the only set he has lost was a week ago in R3 in a tiebreak against the very promising Polish player Hubert Hurkasz. In the three events where Bautista Agut was able to beat this week's top seed, Djokovic had dropped a set in the previous round against mcuh weaker players, indicating that he wasn't at the peak of his form. On Wednesday, he destroyed David Goffin, the signs are ominent.
The h2h overall stands at 7-3 with the Spaniard's three victories all on hardcourt, their most recent clashes on that surface. They've met at a major tournament three times, and on each occasion, it went to four sets with either the first or second set going to Bautista Agut. That indicates Djokovic starts at a high level and then turns it up a notch when challenged.
Bautista Agut is playing as well as he can but he's been a clear favourite in each round so far and hasn't really been tested. This is a step up from Group 3 to Group 1 and while he might look in the contest for a while, expect Djokovic to career away as he does best. Can't back Djokovic at the price, but might be worth a small bet on the 3-1 result.
Best bet: Djokovic to win 3-1 at 14/5
Rafael Nadal v Roger Federer
Quite simply two absolute champions and precious little between them. While Rafael Nadal won easily on clay at Roland Garros, he had lost the previous five to Roger Federer, all in 2017. They've not met on grass since the final of 2008 when Nadal triumphed 9-7 in the fifth.
I could write a dissertation on this matchup but there's not much which hasn't been said before. At the prices, Federer has to be the bet.
Best bet: Federer to win at 6/5