By Ros Satar, at Roland Garros

  • Simona Halep [3] v Amanda Anisimova | First meeting
  • Novak Djokovic [1] v Alexander Zverev [5] | H2H Tied at 2-2
  • Madison Keys [14] v Ashleigh Barty [8] | H2H Tied at 1-1
PARIS, FRANCE – The last of the quarter-finals will set the scene for the final run in to crown the Roland Garros 2019 champions

 

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Simona Halep [3] v Amanda Anisimova | First meeting

Defending champion Simona Halep might have started off a bit nervously but her last two matches have been ruthless, including dropping just one game against Iga Swiatek – a player ten years younger than the Romanian, who joked that she now felt old.

Next up is another youngster in Amanda Anisimova, and in this first career meeting, Anisimova, who has had her fair share of shock victories. She has upended Aryna Sabalenka in two slams in a row and unlike our defending champion, she has not dropped a set yet.

What works for Anisimova is taking the ball early and trying to pin her opponents at the baseline to defend for their lives. Here she might come royally unstuck as the resident Queen of Chatrier can defend away to her heart’s content and run everything and anything down before she unleashes a running winner wherever she wants down the court.

Halep praised the young players coming up fast: “I was not on Chatrier at 17. I was in qualies here (smiling). When you face someone that is higher ranked than you, you don’t have, you know, fear. You just go and want to show your best tennis.

“So, I feel like they have this feeling all the time when they play with someone better ranked. But also, I take my advantage, and I say that I’m experienced. So, we will see.”

This could be well more of a challenge for Halep, but she seems to have found her groove.

Prediction: Halep in three sets.

 

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Novak Djokovic [1] v Alexander Zverev [5] | H2H Tied at 2-2

Novak Djokovic in the first round of Roland Garros 2019, France

Novak Djokovic in the first round of Roland Garros 2019, France | (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

The questions that have been bombarding Alexander Zverev about his form will be answered today when he takes on the World No. 1 Novak Djokovic. The Serbian has been in very impressive form indeed, and has all but sailed through his draw, while Zverev has taken the scenic route with two five-setters and a four-setter. This obviously caught up with him last year as he made the second week – and there is not much to suggest that this won’t be the case today.

It is hard to know which Zverev will turn up – he has had the measure of Djokovic when the occasion arises and should be Djokovic’s real first test. Both play a solidly aggressive baseline game, but Djokovic just does everything with a little more accomplishment than Zverev – for now.

Zverev can look to get free points off his serve, especially his second serve, but Djokovic’s retrieval is second to none. If Zverev is sharp as we know he can be, he could even get a set off the World No. 1, but could he push him to five sets? That is most likely quite doubtful.

We would give Zverev the luxury of one set, but more importantly, if Djokovic smokes Zverev in straight sets, then it puts him very squarely in the category of favourite to lift the title on Sunday.

Prediction: Djokovic in four sets.

 

Madison Keys [14] v Ashleigh Barty [8] | H2H Tied at 1-1

Ashleigh Barty in the first round of Roland Garros 2019, France

Ashleigh Barty in the first round of Roland Garros 2019, France | Jimmie48 Tennis Photography

Two players that have coasted largely under the radar have been this pair as Madison Keys bids to make it two straight semi-finals at Roland Garros, and Ashleigh Barty is enjoying her best run so far at this tournament.

Keys may have had the slightly tougher run with a couple of three setters along the way, while Barty’s biggest test came at the hands of Sofia Kenin, before burying the American with. Bagel in the fourth round.

Barty may not list clay as her absolute favourite surface, but her run to the quarter-final in Madrid saw her push Halep all the way in two tight sets, and although Rome ended quickly for her, the extended time to prepare as stood her in good stead.

The Aussie’s all court game is a good match for all surfaces and her biggest weapon will be her forehand, from which she will generally conjure up all manner of angles, pace and spin to give her opponent a headache. Her variety will test Keys to the limit as the American will look to her own powerful serve and groundstroke combination to dominate the game on her terms.

Prediction: Barty in three sets.

 

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