2013 Men’s French Open Tennis Semifinals
Friday, June 7, 2013, 8:00 am Eastern, TV: Tennis Channel, NBC
Roland Garros – Paris, France
Playing Surface: Red Clay
All odds courtesy of Bookmaker
With all due respect to David Ferrer and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who are both top 10 players in the world and meet in one semifinal at the 2013 French Open, all eyes in the tennis world will be on the other semifinal. Rafael Nadal takes on Novak Djokovic in what should be an epic battle between two of the best players in history. The only reason Ferrer and Tsonga will get any attention is because Tsonga is trying to become the first French man to win at Roalnd Garros since Yannick Noah in 1983.
Here is a look at both matches with odds courtesy of bookmaker.
#3 Rafael Nadal (-150) vs #1 Novak Djokovic (+120)
Nadal just turned 27 earlier this month and is from Spain. He is 41-2 this season with 6 titles at Rome, Madrid, Barcelona, Indian Wells, Acapulco, and Sao Paulo. All were on clay except Indian Wells. His only 2 losses this season came in the finals at Monte Carlo to Djokovic and Vina del Mar both on clay. He has won 7 French Open titles and has only lost one match in his career at Roland Garros. He will set the record for most French Open titles, man or woman with his next French title.
Djokovic is 26 from Serbia. He is 33-4 this season with titles at the Australian Open, Dubai and Monte Carlo. Djokovic has 6 major titles but has yet to win the French Open. Djokovic lost to Nadal in the finals of the French last year He has made to at least the semifinals of the last 12 majors.
Djokovic beat David Goffin in the first round, Guido Pella in the second round, #26 Grigor Dimitrov in the third round, #16 Phillip Kohlschreiber in the fourth, and #12 Tommy Haas 6-3, 7-6 (7-5), and 7-5 in the quarters. Djokovic dropped the first set to Kohlschreiber and also went to a tiebreaker against Goffin but otherwise hasn’t lost more than 5 games in a set.
Nadal beat Daniel Brands in the first round, Martin Klizan in the second round, #27 Fabio Fognini in the third, #13 Kei Nishikori in the fourth round, and #9 Stanislas Wawrinka in the quarters. Nadal dropped the first set to both Brands and Klizan, and went to a tiebreaker in the first set against Fognini. However, he hasn’t lost more than 4 games in any set since then.
Nadal leads the series 19-15 against Djokovic including 4-0 at the French Open. In those 4 matches, Nadal has only dropped one set. Djokovic did beat Nadal on clay at Monaco earlier this year 6-2, 7-6 but that was in a three set match instead of a 5 set.
Djokovic is improving against Nadal on clay but Nadal is arguably the best clay player in history. Nadal has shown some chinks in the armor losing sets early in the tournament. He did miss almost a year with a knee injury. If Djokovic was ever going to beat him here it would happen this year. Djokovic is desperate to win the French to complete the career grand slam. I think he comes close but Nadal wins in five grueling sets.
#4 David Ferrer (-150) vs #6 Jo-Wlfried Tsonga (+120)
Ferrer, 31 from Spain, is 36-9 this season with titles at Buenos Aires on clay and Auckland. He lost in the finals at Oeiras and Acapulco both on clay, and in Miami. He has never made it past the semifinals of any major in his career, but has made it at least to the quarters of the last seven majors. He lost in the semifinals at the Australian this season.
Tsonga is 28 from France. He is 26-8 this season with a title at Marseille. He has never won a major, and had never made it past the quarters at Roland Garros before. He lost in the quarters at the Australian Open.
Ferrer beat Marinko Matosevic in the first round, Albert Montanes in the second round, Feliciano Lopez in the third round, #23 Kevin Anderson in the fourth round and #32 Tommy Robredo 6-2, 6-1, 6-1 in the quarterfinals. He beat Lopez 7-5 in a set but no one else has won more than 4 games in any set against Ferrer.
Tsonga beat Aljaz Bedene in the first round, Jarkko Nieminen in the second, #25 Jeremy Chardy in the third round, Viktor Troicki in the fourth round, and upset #2 Roger Federer in the quarterfinals 7-5, 6-3, 6-3. Tsonga has not dropped a set yet and went to a tie breaker once against Nieminen.
Tsonga and Ferrer have only played 3 times in their careers. Ferrer leads the series 2-1, but they haven’t played this year. Tsonga’s lone win came in the 2011 Wimbledon quarterfinals.
Both Tsonga and Ferrer are playing well right now but Ferrer is just a better clay player. The French crowd will be firmly behind Tsonga, but I don’t think it will be enough. Ferrer wins in four sets, and gets the right to be the runner up to Djokovic of Nadal.
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