Paris Men's Semifinals Feature Nadal vs. Zverev and Cilic vs. Ruud

Paris Men's Semifinals Feature Nadal vs. Zverev and Cilic vs. Ruud

4 min read

The semifinals are officially set in Paris with Rafael Nadal (UTR Rating 16.16) regaining his position as the men’s tournament favorite. The Spaniard got past Novak Djokovic (16.14) in four sets in their 59th career meeting while Alexander Zverev (15.90) subdued 19-year-old Carlos Alcaraz (16.14).

The other semifinal will see No. 20 seed Marin Cilic (15.69) take on Casper Ruud (15.79).

It's time for in-depth analytics into the matchups from Universal Tennis INSIGHTS,

Swiatek and Gauff Storm into Final

The men’s semifinals will take place on Friday, while the women’s final four are taking center stage on Thursday. Top seed Iga Swiatek (13.39) made quick work of Jessica Pegula in the quarters and then dismissed Daria Kasatkina (12.85) for a place in the final. Swiatek, who just turned 21 on Tuesday, was favored at 79% over Kasatkina and dropped just three games. The 2020 Roland Garros champion is riding a 34-match win streak.

The other women’s semifinal favored 18-year-old Coco Gauff (12.89) over unseeded Italian Martina Trevisan (12.27). Gauff had an 82% chance, per INSIGHTS, of appearing in her first Grand Slam final and pulled it off 6-3, 6-1. She's the youngest female Roland Garros finalist since 2001. The women's final will take place on Saturday.

The Men's Favorites

According to INSIGHTS, here's who has the highest odds of leaving Paris the champion.

Rafael Nadal - 45%

Alexander Zverev - 21%

Casper Ruud - 19%

Marin Cilic - 15%

Nadal Readies for Zverev

With Djokovic and Alcaraz out of the way, Nadal is the INSIGHTS men's champion favorite at 45%. Nadal and Zverev have faced off nine times with Nadal leading 6-3 in career head-to-head meetings. Nadal holds a 64% edge over the 25-year-old German according to INSIGHTS. They played each other twice last year, both times on clay, with Zverev winning in Madrid and Nadal getting revenge in Rome.

The INSIGHTS head-to-head prediction tool shows that Nadal has the higher three-month trending UTR Rating and clay UTR Rating, with his clay rating at an impressive 16.20. Nadal, who turns 36 on Friday, is looking to win his 14th Roland Garros title and 22nd Grand Slam overall.

Rafael Nadal upset defending champion Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals. (AP Photo: Christophe Ena)

Late on Tuesday, Nadal closed out top seed Djokovic in a fourth-set tiebreak to come within one win from tying their career head-to-head record (Djokovic still leads 30-29). The Serbian had two set points in the fourth set but failed to push the match to a fifth with Nadal raising his arms in victory at 1:11 a.m.

"It was a very intense night,” Nadal said. "It's for those moments that I keep playing, but it's only a quarterfinal, I didn't anything. I just gave myself the opportunity to get back on the court in two days. Being back in the semifinals at Roland Garros means a lot."

Earlier on Tuesday, Zverev had similarly closed out Alcaraz in a fourth-set tiebreak, saving one set point that could have sent the match to a decider. The German completely flipped the script from the straight-set rout he suffered at the hands of the teenager in Madrid three weeks ago.



Zverev was a 2020 US Open finalist and is playing his second Roland Garros semifinal after getting to this same round last year.

"I think tennis is at quite a high level right now, men's tennis,” Zverev said. “ And I think that you have the mix of the best in the world like Rafa and Novak and Roger if he comes back. But you have to name the mix of the newer generation as well who are a threat to them, I think."

Cilic and Ruud Make History

In Wednesday's quarterfinal action, Cilic fought for over four hours to book his place in the semifinals over Andrey Rublev. The match was decided by a fifth-set tiebreak played to 10 points, 5-7, 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(2).

comes from being me,” Cilic said. "I played that kind of tennis the whole match, especially the fifth set was an incredible battle. played incredibly well and it was an incredible performance on the court – a lot of heart. One had to go down. Today it was my day."

Marin Cilic was previously a two-time Paris quarterfinalist, most recently in 2018. (AP Photo: Jean-Francois Badias)

The 33-year-old had dropped just one set in his first four matches, highlighted by an impressive straight-set win over No. 2 seed Daniil Medvedev in the round of 16. Cilic is the INSIGHTS best men's performer of the Slam, playing like a 16.00 (+0.30) over five matches. The 2014 US Open champion is now the first Croatian in history to reach the semifinals of every Grand Slam.

Per INSIGHTS, Cilic has a 45% chance of getting past Ruud to make his first final in Paris. Late on Wednesday, Ruud beat 19-year-old Holger Rune in the first all-Scandanavian quarterfinal in Roland Garros history. Ruud is the first Norwegian to go beyond the fourth round in Paris. The 23-year-old was tested across a 6-1, 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-3 victory.

“These are the matches that you dream about playing and hopefully, of course, even the final if it’s possible,” Ruud said. “I have to be really focused and bring my A-game in the semifinal."

Stay tuned for more from INSIGHTS, and to learn more about Universal Tennis, click here.

•UTR Ratings and INSIGHTS probabilities as of 8 a.m. EST, June 2, 2022.

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