It took Novak Djokovic two days and five sets to beat Rafael Nadal and stamp his ticket to the July 15 Wimbledon 2018 Men’s Finals. Djokovic will take on Kevin Anderson.
The South African player powered his way past heavily favored Roger Federer in the quarterfinals before outlasting American Jon Isner in the Wimbledon Semifinals. Can Anderson truly upset the great Novak Djokovic?
Anderson’s a major underdog for a reason. On paper, it doesn’t appear he has much shot against Djokovic. After all, eighth ranked Kevin Anderson is 32-years-old. If he were to ever win a major championship, wouldn’t it have been in his younger days? Athletes don’t often get faster and hit with more power on the tennis court the older they get.
At 31, Djokovic is a year younger than Anderson. He should have no trouble pummeling the South African in 3 sets, right?
Maybe not. There are a couple of reasons to believe Kevin Anderson pulls off the upset. The first is that Novak Djokovic goes into the Wimbledon Finals having battled the great Rafael Nadal in five sets. Not only did Novak battle Nadal in five sets, he had to battle Nadal in the final 2 ½ sets on Saturday, a day before his match with Anderson.
Novak playing at 100% only a day after having to battle Rafa is a longshot. Djokovic can still beat Anderson. It won’t be as easy as the -570 odds imply.
The other reason to like Anderson’s chances is because he easily handled Roger Federer in the quarterfinals. Federer was a solid +125 favorite to win Wimbledon. Roger had skipped the French Open to prepare for Wimbledon. His game is better on grass than it is on clay and Federer wanted to be prepared for the major championship he had the best shot of winning.
All Kevin Anderson did, at bigger underdog odds than when he faces Djokovic on Sunday, is beat Roger Federer 2-6, 6-7, 7-5, 6-4, 13-11. You read that right. Anderson dropped the first two sets to Federer before rallying to win 3 straight sets against the number one player in the world.
Should Novak Djokovic beat Kevin Anderson on July 15? Yes. Will Novak Djokovic beat Kevin Anderson on July 15? I’m not so sure. At the -570 odds, Novak’s a bad play while at the +420 odds, Kevin Anderson is a great play.
Pick: Kevin Anderson