It’s the four players most fans expected to see in the Men’s French Open semifinals. Alex Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas meet in the first semifinal before all eyes shift to Rafael Nadal vs Novak Djokovic.
There are mouthwatering matches on Friday, and the winners could set up for one of the all-time great French Open finals.
The online betting markets have Tsitsipas and Nadal as favorites. However, they’re expecting tight contests, and we’re expecting plenty of drama on the penultimate day of tennis action.
Alexander Zverev vs Stefanos Tsitsipas
Young superstars battle for their chance of making the French Open final, and their form couldn’t be more impressive.
Stefanos Tsitsipas scored a 3-0 win over Daniil Medvedev, who had been playing the best clay-court tennis of his career. The 6-3, 7-6, 7-5 result was closer than it seemed, but the Greek pulled out the big points when he needed them.
Tsitsipas is a player who will win a Grand Slam tournament eventually and this might be his best chance. He was beaten by Novak Djokovic in the semifinals last year, but due to the seeding, he won’t have to face Novak or Nadal until the final.
Job done ✅
Stefanos Tsitsipas is into the French Open semi-finals with a straight sets victory over Daniil Medvedev.
A 6-3 7-6 (7-3) 7-5 victory moves him into the last four where he will face Alexander Zverev.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) June 8, 2021
However, he still needs to get past Alexander Zverev, who also scored a straight-sets win in the quarters. The German got past Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-4, 6-1, 6-1 with relative ease.
His powerful groundstrokes were something to behold and although he’s not being talked up as a potential winner, we aren’t underrating him.
It’s his first time progressing past the quarters at Roland Garros, but he reached the final of the 2020 US Open. Much like Tsitsipas, it’s only a matter of time before he wins his Grand Slam.
“It is very nice to be in the semi-finals but just being there doesn’t satisfy me,” Zverev told the BBC. “I am playing pretty OK and hope to play the same way – and even better – in the semi-finals.”
Tennis betting markets have Zverev as the +180 underdog, which is more of a credit to Tsitsipas. It’s going to be a power-heavy game and the defense of Tsitsipas could be too much for Zverev.
We would be surprised if it was decided in less than four sets. Tsitsipas is likely to come away with the win in four or five sets, but strap in because it could be a lengthy fixture.
Pick: Stefanos Tsitsipas -4½ (-115)
Rafael Nadal vs Novak Djokovic
It’s a classic case of playing the final before the final. We’re not sure what the French Open tournament directors were thinking, but seeding Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic on the same side was a mistake.
However, we’re excited for the semifinal clash between two of the best players of all time. 13-time champion Nadal has steamrolled his way through the competition, including a 3-1 win over Diego Schwartzman in the quarters.
— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) June 9, 2021
The Spaniard did drop a set, but he responded in fine style and took the final set 6-0. It was another fine clay performance for Nadal, who isn’t ideally suited to conditions in Paris this week.
“I don’t pretend to come here and not lose sets. It is not my mindset to come here and think that losing a set is going to be a disaster for me. That’s part of the game,” said Nadal.
“Losing sets is something I accept well. The thing that matters is how you recover from a set lost.”
Nadal likes it slow and heavy, but due to the hot temperatures, the courts are playing hard and fast. That plays into the hands of 18-time Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic, who ripped through Matteo Berrettini in his quarterfinal win.
The Serbian had some nervous moments in his fourth-round clash when coming back from two sets down. However, he put that behind him and came out in full force against Berrettini.
He won all the big points in the first set and broke the heart of the Italian. It was unrelenting tennis and Djokovic will need to produce a similar effort to get past Nadal on Friday.
It has often been a toss of the coin when Nadal and Djokovic meet. However, Rafa is the King of Clay and we expect him to show why he’s earned the moniker. We haven’t seen anything to suggest he won’t march on to another French Open final.