The men’s semi-final of the French Open didn’t quite provide the right amount of drama. Zverev took a nasty fall against Nadal and had to retire.
Before his horrible fall that rolled his ankle and forced him to leave the court in a wheelchair, he had given Nadal a real test. He had dominated much of the match, but Rafa had fought the best he could. The Spaniard was down a break for most of the first set, but also had set points at 4-5 in a topsy-turvy start. Zverev was 6-2 up in the tie-break, but Nadal played some amazing points to get himself out of trouble and “steal” the first set.
This didn’t deter Zverev from playing heavy baseline tennis dictated by a strong serve. He pushed Rafa around and got another early break in the 2nd set. Still, Rafa came back to 6-6 and another tie-break that Zverev tumbled and had to forfeit. Heart-breaking scenes for fans and Zverev’s family, of course, and Rafa was not overjoyed to win in that way. Based on how the match was progressing, it’s hard to say if he would have won otherwise, but looking at how well he always fights, he probably would have found a way.
So Nadal in the final, fighting for his 14th French Open title.
The other semi-final between Ruud and Cilic wasn’t quite as dramatic. Cilic started strongly with his intense aggressive tennis, but in the second set Ruud found his groove and showed why he is so difficult to beat on a clay court. The scoreline was 3-6 6-4 6-2 6-2 in Ruud’s favor. This sets up the first Grand Slam final for the Norwegian, where he will play the king of clay.
What can we say about the upcoming final, then? Well, Rafa is the favorite. Most sports betting sites (Betflorida doesn’t offer tennis yet, but for other odds click here) give close to 6 times your money on a Ruud win. That’s pretty generous. But fair if you look at who is on the other side of the net. The issues with the foot are still there, but does it hamper him enough not to win Roland Garros for the 14th time? You only get 1.20-ish on that prediction. Rafa is the overwhelming favorite.
Do you think he will pull it off, or is there a chance for an upset?