It is the turn of the men’s semi-finals at the French Open on Friday afternoon with both tennis matches taking place on the iconic Philippe Chatrier court as we determine the two men who will compete in Sunday’s final.
We already know the line up for the women’s final and on Friday three leading players in the men’s game and the big surprise package of the tournament will do battle to try and make it to the deciding match of the men’s draw.
Day 12 Recap
It was an up and down day for us on Thursday with Juan Martin del Potro delivering the goods for us as he came past Marin Cilic in four sets in the held over match from Wednesday but there was no joy with the Thursday punt as Simona Halep surprisingly powered past Garbine Muguruza in straight sets, playing arguably the best tennis of her career in the opening one. Sloane Stephens will be her opponent on Saturday as she saw off Madison Keys in the US Open final repeat.
Marco Cecchinato vs Dominic Thiem
The opening semi-final on Friday sees the huge surprise package of the tournament in Marco Cecchinato taking on Dominic Thiem in what should be a mismatch but so should the last three rounds for the Italian.
The big thing for Cecchinato is how quickly he recovered from the biggest win of his career over Novak Djokovic in the previous round to prepare for the biggest match of his career here. This is a man who has never won a Grand Slam main draw match before arriving here and when he was 2-0 down in sets in the first round that looked set to continue.
Dominic Thiem has powered past two class acts in Kei Nishikori and Alexander Zverev in the previous two rounds and is on a lengthy unbeaten streak having won the warm up tournament before this. All logic says the Austrian wins this with plenty in hand but that will have been the case when Goffin and Djokovic played Cecchinato. I’m not swerving Thiem at this stage and I’m already on him to win as the each way part of my outright bet. That will do me here.
Rafael Nadal vs Juan Martin del Potro
The second semi-final looks much the better of the two on paper although whether any match involving Rafael Nadal on clay can be competitive is open to debate. These two did meet in the Olympic semi-final in Rio two years ago albeit on a hard court and Juan Martin del Potro won so he knows he can beat Nadal.
I think it is fair to say that Nadal has not been on top form in this tournament. He escaped in the first round with a straight sets win but he was a break down in each set and faced set points in the third one and he lost a set to Diego Schwartzman in the previous round and was a break down in the second before rain came along.
I don’t think that will mean he will lose here but it should give del Potro some encouragement that he can be competitive in the match. To be fair to del Potro he has played some good tennis in this tournament but clearly he goes up a whole new level here. I’m not daft enough to think Nadal will lose this but del Potro can freeroll enough to take this beyond 33.5 games.
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