It’s been a great couple of weeks at Roland Garros with some really high-quality tennis being played by the best men’s and women’s players in the world. The 128-strong field in each draw has been cut to just four as we look towards the semi-finals, which will be played on Friday night. Below, we’ve given a brief preview and provided our best bet for each of the four games. Good luck to everyone following!
Roger Federer (3) vs Rafael Nadal (2) (8:50pm AEST)
Does this match-up really need any introduction? Probably not, but anyway we’ve arguably the two best players of all time going head-to-head for the 39thtime.
Playing at the French Open for the first time since 2015, Roger Federer has been in superb touch through five matches. It must be said that he has had a dream run up until this point with not much elite competition, although his four-set win over Stan in the quarters was a decent barometer of where he’s at. Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal continues to dominate his opponents on the clay at Roland Garros. His one blemish thus far is the set he dropped against Goffin in the third round.
Nadal leads the all-time head-to-head 23-15 against Federer, although the latter has won each of the last five meetings. In saying that, Nadal holds a 13-2 record against Federer on clay and is the overwhelming favourite to win on Friday night. All things considered, we expect Nadal to be far too strong on this surface, even for the GOAT. We’ll be playing the -6.5 game handicap for Rafa.
Novak Djokovic (1) vs Dominic Thiem (4) (10:50pm AEST)
The second semi-final on Friday night isn’t as sexy as the first on paper, but it has all the hallmarks of being an epic. Djokovic is looking to progress to the final and attempt to hold all four slams simultaneously, while Thiem is looking to go one better than his runner-up performance at the French Open last year.
Djokovic enters as the favourite here, but not by as much as you’d expect. He leads the head-to-head 6-2 against Thiem, although only 3-2 when on clay. Thiem’s two wins over Djokovic have come in their last three meetings, and the last time they met at the French Open it was the Austrian who prevailed in straight sets. It’s fair to say this is a fairly even battle on paper and we expect it to be the same on the court. The best play here is to take the overs on the total games market.
Ashleigh Barty (8) vs Amanda Anisimova (7pm AEST)
The first of two women’s semi-finals we’re taking a look at is between Australia’s Ash Barty and USA’s Amanda Anisimova. The Aussie has had the easier of the two draws to reach this point in the tournament, with her toughest opponent coming last round in Madison Keys. On the other hand, 17-year-old Anisimova has taken scalp after scalp and comes into this on the back of a quarterfinals win over defending champion Simona Halep.
Again, this is a really tough match to call. The two have never played each other and this is both of their semi-final’s debuts at a major. Both have been in scintillating form up until this point and will be full of confidence. Anisimova is probably the better value play at around the $2.50 quote, but we’ll be playing the total games over market once again, as we expect it to be a really close match.
Johanna Konta (26) vs Marketa Vondrousova (7pm AEST)
The second semi-final in the women’s draw sees Great Britain’s Johanna Konta take on Czech Republic’s Marketa Vondrousova. The Czech as announced herself as a star of the future (and the present) with her dominant play this fortnight, where she’s yet to drop at set through five matches. Her opponent, Konta, has only dropped one set herself and comes into this off a dominant win over Sloane Stephens (6-1, 6-4).
These women have met on two occasions on tour and the series is tied at 1-1. The most recent meeting was on clay at the Rome Masters, where Konta prevailed in three sets. Both have had really strong clay swings and will be full of confidence, although we do give the edge to the Brit. Konta is a three-time Grand Slam semi-finalist and should be too strong here.
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