The French Open Tennis Semi-Finals are set to be played on Friday and, if you followed the blog’s pre-tournament advice, you’re currently sitting pretty. Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka and Rafa Nadal all landed their quarters, as recommended, whilst we can only dream of what fourth-quarter selection David Goffin might have achieved if he hadn’t been injured in a fight with the on-court tarpaulin.
However, our final pre-tournament selection was a Wawrinka/Nadal final, so it’s time to take a look at whether the recommended 7/1 still looks a good bet, or whether we should be hedging our bets.
Murray vs Wawrinka
Betting: Murray 23/20, Wawrinka 2/3
Murray may be the world number one, but he looked woefully out-of-form before the French Open, losing to much lower-ranked players like Ramos-Vinolas, Coric and Fognini. However, after achieving everything he set out to achieve in 2016 (including fatherhood) he can be forgiven for struggling for motivation so far this season. He’s certainly not looked at his best here, but has still had too much game for potentially troublesome opponents like Del Potro and Nishikori.
Murray’s ability to raise his game for the big occasion will come as no shock to Wawrinka, as the Swiss Player is the master of playing most events with a complete lack of motivation, before turning it on when it matters most. After victory last week in Geneva, Wawrinka has looked at the top of his game in dispatching 5 opponents without dropping a set, and it’s no surprise that the bookies have him as slight favourite to win this semi-final.
Previous head-to-heads suggest this should be every bit as close as the betting suggests though, with Murray leading 10-7 in head-to-heads, but trailing 3-1 on clay. However, he won their only previous French Open match in 2016, and leads 3-2 in Grand Slam Meetings. Therefore, this one goes down to gut-feeling about who is playing better – and the vote goes to Wawrinka. However, the value could be for him to win in 5-sets at 5/1, as 2 of their previous 5 Grand Slam Matches have gone the distance.
Wawrinka to win 3-2 @ 5/1 ComeOn! – Deposit £10, Get £10 Free
Nadal vs Thiem
Betting: Nadal 1/5, Thiem 15/4
There’s no doubt that Dominic Thiem is the most improved clay court player in the world over the last 12 months, and his straight sets defeat of Djokovic in the quarter-finals potentially took his game to a whole new level. He hit some powerful groundstrokes throughout the match, though even they can’t be totally responsible for the alarming number of unforced errors Djokovic made.
This should be a fascinating tussle between two players who have already met three times this season and, though Thiem won the last one, Nadal had run out of steam having won 3 tournaments in a row. He’d also previously beaten Thiem in straight sets in both Barcelona and Madrid. Thiem is full of confidence, however there’s never been a better clay court player than Nadal, and quotes of 11/8 about him beating Thiem in straight sets are probably on the generous side, considering no one has taken more than 4 games off him in any set so far in the tournament.
Nadal to win in straight sets @ 21/10 ComeOn! – Deposit £10, Get £10 Free