Feliciano Lopez  reacts after defeating  Milos Raonic in the quarterfinals of the Fever-Tree Championships on June 21 (Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Feliciano Lopez reacts after defeating Milos Raonic in the quarterfinals of the Fever-Tree Championships on June 21 (Kirsty Wigglesworth)|Associated Press

Tennis Saturday - Abrams Picks the Men’s Semifinals at Noventi Open, Fever-Tree Championships; Federer, Herbert, Simon, Medvedev

Neal Abrams

Neal Abrams


Matteo Berrettini over David Goffin
Goffin just took out Sascha Zverev in the quarters, 7-6, in the third, so he’s firing on all cylinders here on the grass. But Matteo Berrettini is locked and loaded, and playing the very best tennis of his career, on grass, of all surfaces! I like Berrettini here, and to me, he looks like he could go far at Wimbledon when it commences in just over a week.

Roger Federer over Pierre-Hugues Herbert
Pierre-Huges Herbert and Nico Mahut have been partners and two of the finest doubles players in the world for years. They have decided to concentrate on their singles games this spring, and it has worked wonders for the both of them. So here’s Herbert, in the semis of a Wimbledon warm-up tournament on the grass in Germany, playing some fine tennis. It’s been great to see and to admire. But Federer has lost only four times this year. We’re almost six full months through the year, and Federer loses less than once a month! Really incredible. Well, he’s not gonna lose here to Herbert.

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Giles Simon over Daniil Medvedev
Like most players, Daniil Medvedev is inconsistent. He could be on a roll, beating three great players in a row in a tournament and out of nowhere throw in a clunker. And it happens with regular frequency. It’s just tough to know what match in a sequence will be his downfall. I’m betting it’s this one. Although Simon has had a very sketchy year, he’s on a roll right now, and he’s playing with enough confidence that I think he’ll match the result from the only time these two guys played, a 7-5, 6-7, 6-2 win in 2017. That one was on clay. This one will be on grass. If Simon wins when they play on hard courts, he’ll have Medvedev on a doggie chain. Can you say, “Who’s your daddy?”

Felix Auger-Aliassime over Feliciano Lopez
FA2 just keeps surprising me. At 18 years old, he’s 6-foot-2, 194 pounds of solid professional. This is no kid. This is a man. And he shows it every day. He just took out Grigor Dimitrov, Nick Kyrgios and Stefanos Tsitsipas in a row, which is almost a modern day equivalent to Murderer’s Row. I’ve been under the impression that the guys who will inherit the crown from the Big Three would be Sascha Zverev, Tsitsipas and Denis Shapovalov, but I’ve been wrong. This guy is the real deal, and he’s not going away. But first, he’s got to get through 37-year-old Feliciano Lopez, a wily left-handed Spanish veteran who is going through the excruciating situation of trying to explain away a charge of match-fixing stemming from a doubles match he played with Marc Lopez (no relation) in 2017. Lopez has two things going for him in this match. First, that he’s a lefty, and his serve responds really well to the grass. And second, the match is being played on grass. His crosscourt forehands will slide away from FA2’s backhand, and will present shot selection problems for the young Canadian. Still, I think FA2 comes through and shows his colors, and marches into the finals on Sunday.

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