The quarter finals of the French Open come to a close on Wednesday when the second half of the matches take place on the Philippe Chatrier Court, on the day where the line up for the semi-finals will be confirmed.
It was a day to savour on the Chatrier court on Tuesday and although the matches don’t have that elite hype feel to them on Wednesday, what is lacked in star profile is certainly made up for in potential competitiveness.
Veronika Kudermetova vs Daria Kasatkina
The opening match of the day sees two Russian women colliding when Veronika Kudermetova takes on Daria Kaasatkina with both ladies bidding for a place in a first semi-final at this level, which would be a huge milestone for whoever achieves it.
Kasatkina was having a wonderful clay court season before arriving in Paris and she has cruised through the draw to date. She is yet to drop a set and has seen off some feisty competition in the form of Shelby Rogers and Camila Giorgi. Kudermetova has had to come through a couple of tougher assignments but she has faced off with the likes of Madison Keys and Paula Badosa, although the latter retired injured midway through that clash which was a bit of a result for the Russian. This is a good looking opener to the day. My hunch is that Kudermetova is overpriced but it is hard to go against Kasatkina, who has played in Grand Slam quarter finals before which could be the ultimate deciding factor.
Iga Swiatek vs Jessica Pegula
The last of the women’s quarter finals in the French Open this year sees the world number one Iga Swiatek looking to continue her march towards a second Roland Garros title. Jessica Pegula is the next player to step into the lion’s den.
These two have met twice in their career, both on a hard court, with Pegula coming out on top in 2019 before Swiatek finally got her revenge in Miami a couple of months ago. The American has had a decent clay court season and might have the tools to make life difficult for a Swiatek who has just found the going a little tough in the last couple of rounds. Danka Kovanic pushed her closer than expected and then Qinwen Zheng was a set up on the Pole before injury struck and ended her changes. The only thing that puts me off Pegula is the fact she has been on court a fair while already this fortnight but I wouldn’t be surprised if she covers the handicap at the very least here.
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Andrey Rublev vs Marin Cilic
The day session on Wednesday concludes with the first of the two men’s quarter finals on the day as Andrey Rublev will go out for some Russian revenge when he meets Marin Cilic, who powered his way past Daniil Medvedev on Monday evening.
Rublev might consider himself a little fortunate to have reached this stage of the tournament as he was in the process of getting blown away by Jannik Sinner in the previous round until injury struck the Italian. Nevertheless, the longer the match was going the better Rublev was beginning to look and we should remember this is a player who beat Novak Djokovic on this surface earlier in the year. Cilic is going to be a tough nut to crack here though I fancy. He powered Medvedev off the court in one of the best performances he has displayed in years and looks settled on this court as he played well against Gilles Simon here too. These two met at the Australian Open in a match which went four sets and had 42 games. I fancy something at least as close here if not closer so I like over 38.5 games in what could very well be a close encounter.
Casper Ruud vs Holger Rune
The night session is saved for two Scandinavian stars who will be competing in their maiden Grand Slam quarter final as Casper Ruud takes on the Danish talent Holger Rune for the right to meet either Rublev or Cilic for a place in the final.
Ruud has had some topsy-turvy matches this week but he has made it through to his first quarter final in a major. Rune has taken out a couple of classy campaigners on his way to this clash in the form of Denis Shapovalov in the opening round and Stefanos Tsitsipas in the previous one. I think it is only right to point out that the Greek was well off his game in their battle but nevertheless he still needed to be beaten and Rune beat him. I thought the best performance of either in this tournament though was Ruud’s last 16 win over Hubert Hurkacz so the Norwegian might be coming to the boil here. I hope that is the case because he is my outright bet and given that he has won all three meetings against his younger rival, all without dropping a set, I’m going to let that outright ride as Ruud does look a worthy favourite here.
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