Medvedev and Tsitsipas both edge serve-dominated matches
Pre-tournament favourite Daniil Medvedev continued his progress in Cincinnati with a straight-set win over Taylor Fritz in a match which was closer than the scoreline suggested. Fritz was 0/6 on break points and won 47% of points in the match - a very high percentage for a player losing in straight sets.
That match was very serve-oriented, with only one break point converted in the entire match, and Stefanos Tsitsipas had a similar journey yesterday as well with a hard-fought three-setter over the big serving John Isner. Both players broke once in the match, but crucially for Tsitsipas, his solitary break point chance came in the final set which he took to edge a clash which took two and a half hours.
Medvedev's return game makes him favourite
The duo have history, and not all of it pleasant. Medvedev had won the first five matches between the duo, but the last four have resulted in two wins apiece, with Medvedev's wins both coming on hard court - very positive for him ahead of this clash on the same surface.
Medvedev was priced up at around the 1.402/5 mark for his four-set win at the Australian Open over Tsitsipas, and is a similar line today, currently trading at 1.422/5 on the Exchange.
On hard court this year, Medvedev has a 5% edge on return points won percentage, and this is the critical difference between the duo. It makes him markedly the better player still, and given the history between the two players, makes the market line pretty accurate in my view. Tsitsipas' best chance would be to turn the match into a high-variance one, serving well and trying to nick a solitary break or tiebreaks.
Coric's journey should see him rise up the rankings
In the second semi-final, Cameron Norrie has the opportunity to continue his great run of form, with the Brit being favourite at 1.804/5 over Borna Coric. Norrie edged a tight three-setter against Carlos Alcaraz last night, and his last three defeats have all come as a pre-match underdog against top ten opposition.
This bodes well for him against Coric, who has been a real surprise package here in Cincinnati. We've known for years that Coric has big potential but injury and a lack of progression somewhat stalled the Croat for a number of years, but hopefully for him, this run and the opportunity to earn big ranking points soon at the US Open will help boost him significantly back up the world rankings.
Norrie still expected to dominate on return
Another underdog victory - and he has four already this week - will help in that quest for Coric, but I think he could come up short tonight.
While his sample of hard court data this year isn't huge, Coric is falling well short of Norrie's numbers on return, with similar serve data. This is also the case this week, winning just 36% of return points to get to this stage, and that will need to improve if Coric is to get back to his best.
Due to this, my lean is towards Norrie as the slight favourite for the second semi-final.