Classic matchups in both semis

The semifinal matchups should be classics featuring two of the top players in the world and two semifinalists.

Updated: September 10, 2004, 12:21 PM ET
By Mal Washington | ESPN Insider
It never ceases to amaze me how alternately predictable and unpredictable the four Grand Slams are throughout the year. For instance, coming into this year's U.S Open, it would've been easy to pencil Roger Federer into a semifinal bracket. It also wouldn't have been a reach to pencil Lleyton Hewitt in for a spot in the semifinal, based on his efforts at the previous three majors and his seeming return to form.

But who in their right mind would've picked Joachim Johansson to reach even the second week in New York? Here's a player who has one career title (Memphis 2004), one career round 16 appearance at a major (Wimbledon 2004) and had not made it past the quarterfinals of any of the hard court events coming into New York. His big serve and forehand have taken him a long way at the Open.

Another surprise is the play of Tim Henman. Most thought his last real chance to win a major would be at Wimbledon, but he has managed to reach the semifinals at the French Open and now the Open. He hasn't enjoyed much success at the Open, as he's only reached the round of 16 twice and not once in the past five years.

It'll be an opportunity for one of the two greats in the semifinals to win another Grand Slam title, or one of the two surprise semifinalists to etch their mark among history's greats.