What can tennis enthusiasts expect in this round? Will the results fall in line with the marketplace? Check out our quarterfinal preview and tennis picks.
Review our 2nd & 3rd Round French Open Picks.
Nadal and Djokovic on course for a date in the semis
Nadal and Djokovic advanced into the quarterfinals today, staying the course for a much-anticipated semi-final showdown on Friday – a party that many hope to be invited to indeed. From experts and pundits to fans and neutrals alike, this rivalry is expected to feature as surely as the sun is expected to rise that day. Well, when a Nadal-Djokovic showdown looms ahead, what is essentially THE RIVARLY in tennis today, it’s hard not to. But hardwired as we are to expect this single most significant match in the 2013 French Open to materialise in the penultimate round, let’ not forget the other two players in the top half of the draw – Tommy Haas and Stanislas Wawrinka – who might have other ideas. Cakewalks they are not and they’ll do their utmost to upset the party all are hankering after, surely.
Nadal (still a hot favourite at -110 with Bet365 going into week 2 to win a historic eighth French Open title at -110 at William Hill) advanced into the quarterfinals today on the back of his most convincing performance so far, a straight set win over Kei Nishikori. That result will stand him in good stead with bookies and especially in the next round where he’s set to face a dangerous floater in Stanislas Wawrinka.
Certainly, the market confidence precedes Nadal already. Hot off the press: Tennis odds have installed Nadal as the -1600 betting odds favourite over Stanislas Wawrinka listed at +900 large. Underscoring the Spaniard’s odds is an impeccable 9-0 head-to-head record over Wawrinka, which includes a recent win in the Madrid Open final. Crucially, Wawrinka has never won a set off Nadal in nine meetings and 19 sets played. To say that must be discouraging for the Swiss is an understatement.
Wawrinka will have his work cut out for him. Good news: he’s been playing some of the best tennis of his career –a recent upside in his game that has seen him grow in confidence and make inroads against the top four players – beating Murray for the first time since 2010 and giving Novak Djokovic a serious run for his money at the 2013 Australian Open comes to mind. Bad news: Wawrinka is after surviving a five-set marathon against Richard Gasquet and the wrath of the French crowd to earn a date against the King of Clay. Can he recover in time for his date with Nadal? Hard to imagine but anything is possible.
Djokovic moved into the quarterfinals on the back of his least convincing performance so far, coming back from a set down to beat Kohlschreiber in four. It wasn’t his worst ever performance by any means and under the circumstances (mourning the passing of his childhood coach Jelena Gencic), understandable. When all was said and done, he got the job done and that’s what matters most.
From here on though things are going to get tougher for Djokovic (+175 to win the French Open at Bet365) and he’ll need his wits about him. He’ll need to be focused, especially against dangerous floater Tommy Haas in the quarterfinals who recently beat him in Miami.
Haas, albeit a long shot for the title at +8000, might fancy his chances against the World No.1. Certainly, he’s playing some of the best tennis of his career at 35-years-old and takes good form and confidence into his first-ever French Open quarterfinal appearance. As well, he trails only 3-4 to Djokovic lifetime. So why wouldn’t he? The bookies don’t fancy his chances though, something that is blatantly obvious by his whopping +600 underdog odds to Djokovic’s hefty -1000 price tag.
Predictions: Nadal over Wawrinka in four sets; Djokovic over Haas in five sets
Can Tsonga derail Federer in Paris
Federer, who has seen his price to win his first French Open title since 2009 slashed down to +650 at Bet365, advanced into the quarterfinals on the heels of a five-set marathon win over Gilles Simon. The Frenchman gave Federer a serious run for his money and in fact led 2-1 going into the fourth set before Federer turned things around his way.
Next up for Federer is another Frenchman, a beloved one at that, popular with the Roland Garros crowd. Importantly, Tsonga (+1800 to win the French Open title) is riding great form and confidence into this quarterfinal, two things that have many predicting an upset here
Definitely, Tsonga can derail Federer in Paris. Sportsbooks are practically suggesting as much by installing Federer at a bargain price of -188 and Tsonga at mere puppy odds of +150. The head-to-head leans towards Federer in this match wholeheartedly, a 9-3 record which includes winning the epic five-set marathon at the Australian Open quarterfinals this year. But recent form leans ever so slightly towards Tsonga as well as home court advantage.
Finally, it’s an all-Spanish affair between David Ferrer and surprise quarterfinalist Tommy Robredo. Ferrer, who advanced into the quarters quietly and efficiently without dropping a set, must fancy his chances against his compatriot. Certainly, bookies do as they’ve figured a rather lopsided market for this one, tipping Ferrer at a whopping -2500 and Robredo at +1200.
Robredo moved into the final eight on the back of three five-set marathons, each time coming back from two sets down to win. His run has been the quintessential Cinderella run and although many would like to see his Parisian fairytale continue the odds are stacked against him, literally and figuratively.
Predictions: Tsonga over Federer in five sets; Ferrer over Robredo in four sets