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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Djokovic, Alcaraz on one other collision course?


Ben Shelton has already defied heavy odds to succeed in his first Grand Slam semifinal on the 2023 U.S. Open.

The 20-year-old American should pull a fair greater rabbit out of his hat when he faces Novak Djokovic within the first males’s semifinal at 3 p.m. ET on Friday.

Shelton, who arrived at Flushing Meadows unseeded, knocked off two of America’s prime three seeds in reaching the semis — following an upset of No. 14 Tommy Paul within the fourth spherical with a four-set win over No. 10 Francis Tiafoe within the quarterfinals.

It continues a powerful season for Shelton, who reached the quarterfinals on the Australian Open however misplaced within the first spherical of the French Open and the second spherical of Wimbledon.

His Grand Slam semifinal debut will come towards the person making his file forty seventh look within the remaining 4 of a slam. Aside from a five-set thriller towards fellow Serb Laslo Djere, No. 2 seed Djokovic has not dropped a set in his different 4 matches. That features dispatching of No. 9 Taylor Fritz, the top-ranked American, in straight units within the quarters.

Shelton faces a frightening job as Djokovic has received 21 of his previous 22 main semifinal matches. Djokovic additionally has not dropped a tiebreaker in a significant semifinal for the reason that U.S. Open 9 years in the past.

“Ben Shelton has been serving some bombs this event,” Djokovic, 36, stated after his win over Fritz. “When his serve is on, he is a really tough participant to play towards, particularly as a result of he is lefty, as effectively.”

That stated, Djokovic is an enormous -1400 favourite at BetMGM to dispatch of Shelton (+750).

The 23-time Grand Slam champion has additionally seen his odds of profitable the boys’s title shorten from +160 to start the event to -125.

Ought to Djokovic get previous Shelton, he would play the winner of the second semifinal between top-ranked Carlos Alcaraz and No. 3 seed Daniil Medvedev.

Alcaraz, who beat Djokovic in a five-set thriller within the Wimbledon remaining, has dropped only one set in cruising by his first 5 matches. The Spaniard is the

-375 favourite to beat Russia’s Medvedev (+290), the 2021 U.S. Open champion who has solely misplaced two units up to now within the event.

The general public clearly expects to see one other Alcaraz-Djokovic remaining, with Alcaraz holding +120 odds to win the boys’s title adopted by Medvedev at +900 and Shelton at +3300. Alcaraz, the defending champion, has drawn probably the most complete bets at 26.7 p.c, whereas Djokovic has been backed by probably the most cash at 39.5 p.c.

Although he missed the Australian Open this yr as a consequence of a hamstring harm, Alcaraz has received 24 of his previous 25 matches in main occasions. He reached the semifinals of the French Open this yr earlier than prevailing at Wimbledon.

“I am feeling actually comfy enjoying on this courtroom, enjoying right here in New York,” stated Alcaraz, the defending champion. “I am exhibiting my greatest stage right here on this courtroom. …

“I am feeling nice bodily. (My) recreation is robust sufficient mentally, so I feel I am able to play a terrific battle towards Medvedev within the semifinal.”

—Area Stage Media

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