Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Djokovic, Murray face big serves in semis
By ESPN Stats & Info
Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images
Andy Murray survived a five-set match, and will now face Jerzy Janowicz's big serve in the semis.
After a wild Wimbledon consisting of major early upsets and a handful of injury withdrawls, we’re still on pace for the top two seeds to meet in the gentlemen’s final.
But top-seed Novak Djokovic and No. 2 Andy Murray won’t be playing their expected opponents. Murray was looking at a semifinal matchup against either third-seeded Roger Federer or fifth seed Rafael Nadal, but both lost in the first two rounds.
Instead, the top two seeds will get two men who have used their serves as weapons to reach the semifinals: Juan Martin del Potro and Jerzy Janowicz.
Here’s a look at the four men remaining for the title.
No. 1 Novak Djokovic
Djokovic needed a first-set tiebreaker, but ultimately won in straight sets to reach his 13th consecutive Grand Slam semifinal, a streak that started at Wimbledon in 2010.
That’s the second-longest streak since 1925, falling behind only Roger Federer’s 23 consecutive Grand Slam semifinal appearances, going from 2004 to 2010. The next longest streaks behind Djokovic were 10 straight, done by Ivan Lendl and Rod Laver.
Djokovic will next get del Potro. He’s undefeated in three career meetings with del Potro in Grand Slam matches, but lost to him in the bronze medal match at the 2012 Olympics, held on grass.
No. 2 Andy Murray
While Djokovic cruised in straight sets, Murray needed five sets to beat unseeded Fernando Verasco after dropping the first two sets.
It’s the seventh time in his career he’s come back from a two-set deficit, and the latest round he’s ever done it in. Only Federer has come back from more 2-0 deficits than Murray among active players, having done so eight times.
The key for Murray’s semifinal match vs Janowicz is his second serve. In losing the first two sets, Murray won just 38% of his second-serve points. He won 74% of those points in winning the final three sets.
No. 8 Juan Martin del Potro
Del Potro, like his semifinal opponent Djokovic, has yet to drop a set en route to the semis, and you can point to his serve to find out why.
Through his first five matches, del Potro has won 97 percent of his service games (73 of 75), the highest percentage of any man at Wimbledon this year (minimum 60 service games).
His serve might also be getting more effective. After winning less than 80 percent of points on his first serve in three of his first four matches, del Potro won 87 percent of his first-serve points in his quarterfinal win over David Ferrer.
No. 24 Jerzy Janowicz
Janowicz made history reaching the semifinal, becoming the first man from Poland to reach the semifinal of any Grand Slam.
Like, del Potro, Janowicz has capitalized on his serve to make it this far. But Janowicz is getting it done with aces. He has 94 aces through his five matches so far, not just the most among the men’s players, but 31 more than the second man on the list, Ivan Dodig.
For the tournament, 49% of Janowicz’s serves have been unreturned, tied with Kevin Anderson for the highest this year at Wimbledon.