Certainly the French Open Women’s Semi Finals no one could have predicted. Two seeds left both ranked outside the top 15 plus two unseeded players, resulting in all four players featuring in their first Grand Slam Semi Final. The Wolf expects more upsets to follow.
Here are The Wolf’s French Open tips for the Women’s Semi Finals.
No one saw this French Open Semi Final coming with the 85th ranked Tamara Zidansek up against Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who despite being a regular in the top 40 for a very long time, will play in her first Grand Slam Semi Final.
Pavlyuchenkova has the game to be able to blow Zidansek off the court, but an issue across her career has been consistency. The Slovenian’s counterattacking nature and ball placement has been a big feature this tournament, which has kept her alive in matches against Andreescu and Badosa.
The Russian’s last three matches have gone to three sets all clearing the 21.5 games total, while Zidansek has also played in her fair share of marathon matches with three of her five matches going to three sets covering 21.5 games, with another against Cirstea just falling short of the total games line.
Zidansek has the game to trouble Pavlyuchenkova, but the experience of the Russian who turns 30 next month could be too much for the lowly ranked Slovenian. If The Wolf had to choose, he’s taking Zidansek in three – but is much more comfortable with the total games over in this.
Maria Sakkari enters this Semi Final with a huge victory over 2020 Champion Iga Swiatek and will need to back it up against Barbora Krejcikova whose poise got her past Coco Gauff.
Sakkari plays with raw power, which isn’t the case for Krejcikova who mixes up her pace and relies on playing the angles on the court – which could play into the Czech’s advantage in this one.
The Greek played at such a high intensity that The Wolf’s unsure whether she can maintain the high just 24 hours later, while Krejciokova was brave saving five first-set points before dismantling Gauff in the second set.
There’s been a lot of upsets this French Open, so it wouldn’t surprise The Wolf to see another one this Semi Final. Krejcikova has a 2-0 career record against Sakkari, the first seven years ago on the clay which isn’t that relevant, but the most recent encounter was a 6-2 7-6 win in Dubai in March on the hard courts – certainly a surface that would play to Sakkari’s advantage.
Winning her last 10 games on clay with Krejcikova’s last loss to Swiatek in a tight 3-setter, her clay form is extremely underrated and I like the Czech at the +3.5 game handicap.