Australian Open men’s singles semis: Djokovic fights Federer for final spot
Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | January 27, 2016
2016 Australian Open
- Men’s singles semi-finals
- Thursday and Friday, January 28th-29th
- Play scheduled to start: 08:30 GMT
- Melbourne Park, Melbourne
- Live on Eurosport 1 and 2
Raonic surprise name in Melbourne’s last four
Punters expect to see Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray at the business end of Grand Slam tennis tournaments, but this year’s Australian Open is only the second time Canadian representative Milos Raonic has reached a major semi-final.
Defending men single’s champion Djokovic remains a firm 8/15 favourite with Coral to retain Down Under, with the Serbian star facing seemingly eternal rival Federer (9/2 tournament chance) in the first last four fixture.
World number two and Great Britain’s top tennis pro Murray is 4/1 to finally end his wait to add the Australian Open to his list of Grand Slam achievements, and he tackles 11/1 outright outsider Raonic in Melbourne.
Nothing between Djokovic and Federer in head-to-heads
Tennis titans Djokovic and Federer have faced each other 44 times before, and their record is split right down the middle at 22 wins apiece. It’s even two victories per stellar player in four hard court meetings at the back end of last season, so there’s little to choose between them.
What makes ATP world number one Djokovic the odds-on 4/11 match favourite is his performance in recent Grand Slam meetings against Federer. In the big tournaments when it really matters, the Serb is deadly, but flawless Swiss all-time great Federer cannot be ruled out either at 9/4 to make the Australian Open final.
Djokovic won both the 2015 Slam meetings in four sets, so a repeat 3-1 result in Melbourne appeals at awesome odds of 11/4. Federer notably took the second set in those encounters, though, and is a 6/4 chance to do so again.
Murray to end Raonic run
It’s a similar story with the other Australian Open semi; Murray and Raonic’s head-to-head is three victories each, the four previous hard court meetings have been shared and the big events have ended up going to the Briton.
There is justification in Murray being odds-on 4/11 match favourite here, then, and attractive at 2/1 to repeat a straight sets result from the 2012 US Open. If it comes down to who can handle the big match experience, then it’s the Scottish star to side with.
Raonic’s route to the last four has not been easy; he negotiated tricky ties with Viktor Troicki, number four seed Stan Wawrinka and a resurgent Gael Monfils from round three onwards. The Montenegro-born Canadian player is 9/4 to pull off another shock here, though.