French Open 2017 Betting: Men’s Semi-Finals

Rafael Nadal v Dominic Thiem

Nadal has reached the semi-final for the loss of just 22 games – never before has he progressed this far so easily. However, we always expected him to make light work of his quarter and the real work starts now. His record at this stage of Grand Slams has been exemplary in recent years as he’s won all 13 major semi-finals since 2010 and of course he’s never lost a semi here at Roland Garros. His 2017 is shaping up superbly as well.

He won three of four clay tournaments leading into the French Open, having reached finals at the Australian Open and Miami earlier in the year, and will move back to number two in the rankings with a 10th title here. However, the only player to beat him on clay this year is the man across the net from him, Dominic Thiem.

Thiem is also yet to drop a set after thrashing Djokovic in the last round and his win against Nadal in Rome was the second time he’s beaten him on clay after also winning when they met in Buenos Aires last year. Nadal did beat him in the finals in both Madrid and Barcelona but the Austrian’s power should cause the King of Clay plenty of problems.

He was outclassed in the semis here a year ago but is a better player now and has won half his eight matches in 2017 against the current top 10, including wins over each of Djokovic, Murray and Nadal. Rafa should be too strong over five sets but Thiem’s shot-making gives him a great chance to at least get a set and the 3-1 correct score looks the value.

Betting Strategy

 BACK –  Nadal 3-1 at 3.85

Andy Murray v Stan Wawrinka

Murray has won 11 of his 18 clashes with Wawrinka but on clay the advantage swings the Swiss’s way with a 3-1 record. Murray did win when they met at this stage here a year ago but in best-of-five set tennis they’re tied at 3-3 and Murray was in a lot better form 12 months ago.

Murray eventually got past Nishikori in the last round with some ease, but the Japanese star has endured a tough year and clay is not his favourite surface so anything less would have been a major surprise. The Scot’s form is definitely improving though, after a disastrous preparation that saw him lose three of his four matches leading into this fortnight. That’s in contrast to 2016 when he made the semis in Monte Carlo, the final in Madrid and won the title in Rome before reaching the final here.

This is Murray’s 21st Grand Slam semi-final and he’s won 11 of the previous 20 but just one of four here. Ignoring the two French Open semis against Nadal where he started as longer than 4/1 and just three of the other 18 have been settled in straight sets.

Wawrinka is yet to drop a set in this tournament and his ability to peak in the second week of Slams was again evident in the last round as he thrashed Marin Cilic, who till that point had dominated all his opponents. Following on from claiming the title in Geneva he’s now won nine consecutive matches and one more victory will see him move above Djokovic in the rankings next week.

His total of three Grand Slam titles is equal to Murray’s record and this is his ninth Slam semi. Just one of the previous eight has been settled in straight sets as all three of his wins have been by 3-1 scores. Current form, coupled with the fact this is on clay, mean we have to support Wawrinka at 1.8. However, Murray is not the world number one for nothing and we fancy him to claim a set so take the 3-1 correct score at 4.8 instead.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Wawrinka 3-1 at 4.6

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