US Open Men’s Semifinal Predictions Including Dominic Thiem vs Daniil Medvedev

Dominic Thiem in action ahead of his US Open semifinal
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The 2020 US Open has reached its penultimate stage with former slam finalists Dominic Thiem and Daniil Medvedev facing off to in the US Open men’s semifinals, while the other semifinal match pits Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta against Germany’s Alexander Zverev. Our panel of Damian Kust, Yesh Ginsburg, Ryan Schick, Ji Smith and Steen Kirby offer their predictions.

Pablo Carreno Busta vs Alexander Zverev

Yesh: Pablo Carreno Busta is a good player, but he has been very fortunate to get to this point, in more ways than one. He can win this match if the German struggles, which he has been prone to do in big matches. Still, it’s hard to pick against Zverev here. Zverev in 4

Steen: Carreno Busta is a significant underdog here. He’s a steady and consistent ATP player, but he needed five sets in the first round, he won by default against Djokovic, and Denis Shapovalov had every chance in the quarterfinals but couldn’t finish the job over the course of 5 sets. Zverev also has a h2h win and has yet to be pushed to 5 sets despite his typical struggles in Grand Slams. Zverev has a higher ceiling here, but Carreno Busta is a tough out. I expect him to put up significant resistance before Zverev wins the day. Zverev in 5

Damian: The Spaniard is back to the US Open semi-finals after three years, clearly showing Nick Kyrgios and Ben Rothenberg that it wasn’t a fluke. His win against Denis Shapovalov showcased both his mental toughness and tennis acumen, something he will need to find again for the semi-finals. Alexander Zverev had a bad day in the office against Borna Coric but recovered in time, really sticking to a gameplan that seemed crazy at first but worked out well. It won’t work against Carreno Busta though as the Spaniard doesn’t find it as hard as Coric to generate pace. Zverev will need to be more aggressive than he usually likes to be, but no one who’s followed the German for the past couple of years doubts that he has it in him. His serve and the free points coming off it might just be the deciding factor. Zverev in 4

Ryan: Carreno Busta showed that he deserved his place in the semis by grinding out a thrilling five set win against Denis Shapovalov. After years of struggles at grand slams and never making the semis, Zverev has reached his second consecutive semifinal in relatively comfortable fashion. Zverev will need to limit his errors and double faults to beat a consistent player like Carreno Busta, something he has struggled to do this tournament. Zverev presents a similar matchup for Carreno Busta as Shapovalov, a young talent with a big game who can be error prone at times. Carreno Busta was able to get several key breaks against Shapovalov and win big points in the tiebreaks to capture the match, and he will be able to grind out enough key points against Zverev to make the difference and reach his first grand slam final. Carreno Busta in 4

Jim: This is a huge opportunity for both men, although it seems rather more likely to come round again for the German. But it should be a good match despite that, with both men likely to be relatively unfazed by the occasion, having already played in a Grand Slam semifinal. It is Zverev who should have the edge, however, with his power likely to be rewarded in the baseline exchanges on this surface, although Carreno Busta may well have some joy against the German’s second serve. Zverev in 4

Dominic Thiem vs Daniil Medvedev

Yesh: This match should really be the final, not the semi. I have no idea who will win, but I do know that it will be one heck of a match. Thiem is probably the only player left in the draw with both the power and the baseline skills to take out Medvedev. The Russian is the better player on these courts, but his cramping issues at the end of his quarterfinal match gives me serious pause. If Thiem can take a set or two, he can outlast Medvedev. Thiem in 5

Steen: Medvedev has been utterly dominant at the US Open this year, a year removed from the US Open final, Medvedev has won five matches on the trot without dropping a set including friends against Andrey Rublev and Frances Tiafoe. Thiem dropped a set against former champion Marin Cilic but has likewise had a glide path to this point including a straight sets win against Alex De Minaur in the quarterfinals. Three times a slam finalist, including at this year’s Australian Open, Thiem has never won a title. In short both these players are accomplished and primed to win their first slam. I’ve been slightly more impressed by Medvedev though, and he’s been on fire at the US Open the past two years, I’ll go with the Russian to win this semifinal. Medvedev in 4

Damian: The match we all wanted to see when the draw was released. Dominic Thiem’s first two games weren’t perfect, but he’s played himself into form later in the tournament. Daniil Medvedev has been stellar from the very beginning though, and is still yet to lose a single set. The two played two very different hard court matches against each other – one that Thiem just barely took in a third set tie-breaker and another one that Medvedev won in little under an hour. The Russian is playing just as well as he was last year and his defense is almost impenetrable. Thiem will try to dictate with his huge strokes but even for a player of his class, it will be very hard to find the right balance between the power and precision that is required to win points against Medvedev. Expect a gruelling baseline battle but it seems to be a good matchup for Medvedev on that surface. Medvedev in 4

Ryan: What could be the match of the tournament pits the two most recent hard court grand slam runner ups. Both players have breezed to the semifinals dropping just one set combined all tournament. Thiem leads the head-to-head, but Medvedev won their last meeting in the midst of his absolute tear on the summer hard court swing. Slow speeds on Ashe will play to Thiem’s advantage, but Medvedev will match power with power. Thiem’s serve will be the x-factor, if he can make his powerful first serve consistently he has a big advantage, but Medvedev has been near impossible to beat on hard courts over the last year and a half and he will win a nail biter. Medvedev in 4

Jim: Even before Djokovic defaulted out of the tournament, both Medvedev and Thiem surely felt they had a real chance of claiming the title in New York. Now they will feel surely feel it is but a fingertip beyond their grasp. It would certainly be a surprise were the winner of this match not to go on to lift the US Open trophy. This seems destined to be an exceptionally close contest, but Thiem is one of very few players who has the power to hit through Medvedev from the baseline. Expect him to do so. Thiem in 5

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