1. Novak Djokovic v Rafael Nadal
In a semi-final more fitting of a final occasion, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will go head-to-head in a mouthwatering semi-final. Both players came through their quarter-finals in straight sets; Nadal had a walk in the park against Stanislas Wawrinka, 6-2 6-3 6-1. Djokovic had a slightly tougher match as he converted at the second opportunity of serving out the match in a scrappy ending against Tommy Haas, 6-3 7-6(5) 7-5. Throughout the tournament, Nadal has lost two sets to Daniel Brands and Martin Klizan, meanwhile Djokovic lost his only set in the 4th round to Philipp Kohlschreiber.
This will be the 35th clash on the ATP tour between Djokovic and Nadal and this one promises to be one of the most anticipated yet. They last played in Monte-Carlo at the beginning of the clay court season where Djokovic came out and played a terrific final to beat Nadal, 6-2 7-6(1). Since then, Nadal has gone on a complete tear, taking titles in Barcelona, Madrid and Rome, meanwhile Djokovic laboured falling before the semi-finals in both Madrid and Rome. Nadal has looked head and shoulders above the field, but the one player who has shown on several occasions that he can beat him on clay is Novak.
The weather is supposed to be warm for Friday, which will favour Nadal more, but I think Djokovic will be extra motivated following the death of his childhood coach earlier in the week. From the start of the tournament I had a feeling about Djokovic winning this match and I will be sticking by my original prediction. I really hope it lives up to the expectation as the French Open final they played last year was underwhelming. Djokovic for the win…
Prediction – Djokovic to beat Nadal in 5 sets
2. David Ferrer v Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
The exit of Roger Federer has opened a door for a first time finalist at Roland Garros as David Ferrer and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will be battling tooth and nail in the second semi-final. Tsonga took out Federer in straight sets, 7-5 6-3 6-3 in a surprisingly one-sided contest, which saw a strong performance from Tsonga, but a lacklustre one from Federer that has had tennis pundits and fans calling the end of his time. I hate it when people say this after a loss, but its not been a good year. The grass court season will be a huge one for Federer so let’s see how he gets on there. Ferrer strolled past Tommy Robredo, 6-2 6-1 6-1 and will not have a better chance of reaching a first Grand Slam final, having avoided all members of the big four before the final.
This promises to be a very intriguing match, which could be swayed by the home support for Tsonga. Ferrer leads the head-to-head 2-1 and won their last match in Bercy at the end of last year, 6-2 7-5. Both players have been excellent this week and have yet to drop a set. Ferrer is obviously the stronger player on clay and has the ability to frustrate Tsonga, but I have a feeling the Frenchman will have the weapons and the nerve to claim a second Grand Slam final appearance in front of a jubilant crowd…
Prediction – Tsonga to beat Ferrer in 4 sets