• In his tenth Roland Garros semi-final, Novak Djokovic will face Stefanos Tsitsipas. The Serbian leads 3-2 in their head-to-head
  •  Rafael Nadal bids to avenge his recent defeat suffered in Rome to Diego Schwartzman
PARIS, FRANCE – Novak Djokovic faces Stefanos Tsitsipas, Rafael Nadal meets Diego Schwartzman. Analysis and predictions of the 2020 Roland Garros men’s semi-final clashes.

 

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Novak Djokovic [1] v Stefanos Tsitsipas [5] | H2H: Djokovic leads 3-2

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World No.1 Novak Djokovic reached his 10th Roland Garros semi-final. He is in second place on the all-time list for most Roland Garros men’s singles semi-final appearances. This is his joint-2nd most successful Grand Slam event in terms of semi-finals reached, but his least successful Grand Slam event in terms of titles won.

Bidding to become the first man in the Open Era – and only the third man in history – to win each of the four Grand Slams twice, Djokovic will face Stefanos Tsitsipas. The No.5 seed will play his second Grand Slam semi-final. At 2019 Australian Open, he became the first Greek man in history to reach the semi-finals at a major and, at 20 years 168 days, the youngest man to move into the last 4 in a major tournament since Djokovic at the 2007 US Open.

Djokovic leads 3-2 in their head to heads. Tsitsipas has shown he can be a fighter during the tournament, he survived several difficult matches during his campaign. He’s learning to think one point at a time, be in the match and simply do what it needs to come back. The World No.1, however, can become asphyxiating from the back, as he testified coming back after losing the first set in the quarter-finals. Tsitsipas is unlikely to handle that kind of pressure off the backhand side to turn the match in his favour although the conditions on Court Philippe-Chatrier differs less from what players were used to find in June than the outer courts.

Prediction: Djokovic in four sets.

READ MORE | Tennis | Roland Garros 2020 | Women’s semi-finals set as a spot in a maiden Roland Garros awaits

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Rafa Nadal [1] v Diego Schwartzman [12] | H2H: Nadal leads 9-1

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Rafael Nadal meets Diego Schwartzman bidding to win his 20th Grand Slam title and equal Roger Federers all-time record. The tenacious Argentinian won their most recent encounter in Rome last month, but the Spaniard leads the head-to-head 9-1.

Nadal has an impressive 98-2 win-loss record here and could become the sole player, man or woman, to win the same title 13 times in tennis history. He breezed past his relatively simple early draw in Paris showing a much sharper tennis since his last meeting against the No.12 seed.

In Rome, Schwartzman neutralised his forehand with solid and deep flat crosscourt backhands to move him far from the centre of the court. Then he used excellent anticipation and varied shot-making to go for a down-the-line winner.

The Argentine used similar patterns to beat Dominic Thiem on Tuesday. His rapid footwork, his well known ability to take the ball early could force Nadal on to the backfoot in the opening stages, eventually benefitting from the Spaniard’s expected troubles in hitting through the court in heavier conditions. The Argentine’s fitness could also be a concern after his marathon quarter-final match, and in a long battle this is meant to be a crucial factor to decide the match. Nadal has the edge coming into the match, but it’s unlikely to be a free ride.

Prediction: Nadal in four sets

 

 

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