Thursday, 7 June 2012

French Open: Semi-Final Predictions for Day 13

Rafael Nadal v David Ferrer
The two semi-finals are a repeat of the two we witnessed in Rome and rightly feature the four best players on the clay.  David Ferrer will be feeling jubilant at having reached his first ever semi-final at Roland Garros following a 6-4 6-7 6-3 6-2 victory over Andy Murray.  However he will be less than impressed to be facing Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals although any match-up for him at this stage would be a very, very tough ask.  Nadal has looked in superb form throughout the whole tournament but was given his biggest test against Nicolas Almagro in the quarter-finals where he won 7-6 6-2 6-3.

Nadal has won their last four matches which all took place on the clay.  In each of those matches, Ferrer had his chances (particularly in the final at Barcelona this year) but he has struggled in the key points against the ultimate competitor in Nadal.  Ferrer is playing very well at the moment but to see him win over a best of five set match against Nadal would be a truly extraordinary win for the dogged number 6 seed.
Prediction - Nadal to beat Ferrer in 3 sets

Match point in Nadal's quarter-final match with Almagro

Novak Djokovic v Roger Federer
The second match is a rematch of last year's semi-final where Roger Federer halted Novak Djokovic's incredible winning streak last year in one of the best matches of the year.  This year, both have had their struggles to make this stage.  Federer was forced to come from two sets down to beat Juan Martin Del Potro in the quarter-finals and has already lost five sets at this tournament with only one straight sets win in the first round.  Djokovic has been even closer to exiting the competition as he came back from two sets down against Andreas Seppi in the 4th round, and then saved 4 match points in an epic quarter-final with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Their last match at a Grand Slam was in the US Open semi-final where Djokovic also saved match points in that one on his way to the title.  More recently, the world number one beat Federer in Rome, 6-2 7-6.  I do not think either has been playing that well but I think Djokovic will avenge last year's loss.  I felt he had a significant disadvantage last year when he did not have to step onto the court as Fabio Fognini pulled out of his quarter-final match meaning he had a significant number of days off.  I think that was a telling factor last year but this time round, he will be totally on the ball and ready to reach his first final at Roland Garros.
Prediction - Djokovic to beat Federer in 4 sets

Highlights from Federer's victory over Del Potro

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