With Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem setting up a NextGen semifinal could we finally see a player other than the big three lifting a Grand Slam trophy?
Stan Wawrinka at the 2016 US Open was the last player outside of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic to claim a Grand Slam singles title.
Wawrinka went down to Zverev 1-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2. The 22-year-old German reaching his first semifinal at this level.
26 year-old Thiem then guaranteed a younger player will be in the final when he upset Nadal 7-6(3), 7-6(4), 4-6, 7-6(6).
The other side of the draw sees Djokovic facing Federer. Djokovic the defending champion has seven titles to his name at the Australian Open while Federer is a six-time champion.
On each occasion Djokovic has reached the semifinals in Melbourne he has gone on to lift the winner’s trophy. Federer has fallen at the semifinal stage on seven occasions.
Tonight will most likely see Djokovic despatch Federer to reach another Australian Open final. It is their fourth semifinal clash at this tournament and fifth in total with Djokovic winning in all of the semis and Federer claiming a R16 clash back in 2007, Federer going on to win the title. The H2H is 26-23 to Djokovic.
Federer is lucky to even be in the semis after he escaped from 8-4 down in the match tiebreaker against John Millman in the third round and then he snuck past Tennys Sandgren after facing seven break points as well as struggling with injury.
Tomorrow night will see Thiem face off against Zverev. Thiem holds a 6-2 H2H advantage with two wins coming at the French Open 2018 and 2016.
Thiem has twice lost to Nadal at Roland Garros on the final day. Zverev is playing in his first Grand Slam semifinal with back-to-back quarterfinal appearances in 2018-19 at the French Open being his best results at this level.
Both players had to fight hard to reach the semis but have two days to recover.
After a poor start to the year with his serving Zverev has found his groove and has served a lot less double faults after really struggling a few weeks ago.
I am tipping Djokovic to advance to another Australian Open final and then on Friday night it will be too close to call although I will say that I think Zverev will advance.
Either way it will be a big three player against a younger player and I think we will still be waiting for someone outside of the big three to claim a Grand Slam singles title as I am tipping Djokovic will claim his eighth Australian Open title.