Tuesday’s late night showdown between Rafa and Novak – though not equalling their SF battle from last year – was the clear highlight among another round rich in quality and intrigue at RG. Given Novak’s absence in Oz, coupled with the pair’s aforementioned Parisian battle last year, some ‘experts’ were saying that a top-of-his-game Djokovic would beat Rafa on any surface nowadays. Emphatically not the case!
But if some results were never in doubt – see too Iga’s straight set win over Pegula – then we still had some surprises. None moreso than Zverev’s victory over Alcaraz, the latter a clear favourite amongst many. But he had been a little off his game all tournament and Zverev took advantage. Unbelievably the German’s first victory over a top 10 player at a major.
Semi Final predictions
Iga Swiatek vs Daria Kasatkina
Could be a good’un this. Both have looked in ominous form here, with Kasatkina not yet dropping a set en route to what is her maiden slam SF. But Swiatek is the overwhelming favourite in Paris for a reason – her form has been incredible and nerves may get to the Russian come the crunch. Swiatek in 3.
Martina Trevisan vs Coco Gauff
Sloane Stephens didn’t really turn up in her QF with Gauff, but either way Coco trusted her game and herself and showed some guts which have abandoned her all too much when things got to the business end. Trevisan represents the obligatory surprise package. The Italian’s win over US Open finalist Fernandez was her most impressive yet here – confidence should be flowing. Trevisan in 3
Rafael Nadal vs Alexander Zverev
Rafa was sublime again last time out, his unbelievable resolve and Zverev’s poor slam record and penchant for going AWOL should point to a routine victory here. But Rafa is human, even here. Two long matches and a late finish, who knows? Going to be bold with this one and say Zverev in 4
Marin Cilic vs Casper Ruud
What a joy it has been to see old timer Cilic perform so well again, and given his roster of victims he shouldn’t really fear anyone. What a tournament Ruud has had. Not plain sailing by any means but tough matches and plenty of opportunities to show his resolve and more. Tough to call but I am going for a continuation of the fairytale run. Cilic in 4