Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas celebrates after defeating Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut in their quarterfinal match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas celebrates after defeating Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut in their quarterfinal match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)|(AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
Tennis

Tennis: The Australian Open Men’s Semi-finals

In the end, we expect two of the Big 3 to still be standing

Neal Abrams

Neal Abrams

Australian Open
Semi-finals - Men

Djokovic over Pouille
Okay, it’s time to finally recognize and salute France’s Lucas Pouille. The 24-year old, coached by Amelie Mauresmo, a two-time Grand Slam champion herself, has had the tournament of his life beating Raonic, Coric, and Popyrin in succession and arriving in the Semis. Clearly, he’s playing the best tennis of his career, and even with a loss will walk away with $920,000 (Australian). Djokovic, on the other hand, is the No. 1 seed, is the top player in the world, and has already won this tournament six times. As long as The Joker’s back stays healthy, he should disappoint the valiant Frenchman and move into the finals looking for his 15th Grand Slam title. If his back acts up again, Pouille has a puncher’s chance, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

Nadal over Tsitsipas
This match should be entertaining. Nadal roams the baseline like Rambo and unleashes bomb after bomb intended to blow up his prey. Tsitsipas floats and glides like he’s on ice skates as he artistically slices and dices his opponents until he inflicts enough deadly wounds that they simply die. Is Tsitsipas and his all-court game ready to reach his first Grand Slam final? Can the new Greek God beat both Federer and Nadal in the same tournament? Is the world ready for a new face at the very top of the game? It will be fun to see, especially with the contrasting styles in this match, but I don’t see a changing of the guard just yet. We’re going to see a lot of Tsitsipas in the years to come, but Nadal doesn’t die so easily.

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