All the quarterfinal matches are officially over at the 2021 French Open, as day 12 will be the start of the semi-finals. In action on Thursday will be the women’s semi-finals, as we narrow down the field to two.
Taking to the court on Thursday will be Anastasia Pavyluchenkova, Tamara Zidansek, Maria Sakkari, and Barbora Krejcikova. In the first match of the day, it will be the 31-seed Pavyluchenkova taking on Zidansek, while the match that follows will be a battle between the 17th seed Sakkari and Krejcikova.
All four players left in the women’s field have not won a Grand Slam before, and actually, none have played in a Grand Slam semi-final before. This will be a test of who can control the nerves the best in hopes of advancing to their first career Major final. Here are my predictions for day 12 of the French Open.
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (31) vs Tamara Zidansek
This will be the first career meeting between the two when they meet in the semi-finals on Thursday. Six years separate the two, as Pavlyuchenkova is 29, while Zidansek is just 23.
Pavlyuchenkova has had by far the tougher draw between the two at the French Open, as she had to beat three players ranked inside the top 25 in the world, which included Aryna Sabalenka, Victoria Azarenka, and Elena Rybakina. Zidansek on the other hand only beat one player ranked inside the top 30, which was Bianca Andreescu in the first round.
Both got through the quarterfinals in very tight matches, as they each went the distance in the third set, as Zidansek won 8-6 in the third, while Pavlyuchenkova won 9-7 in the final set.
I believe Pavlyuchekova will be coming into this match with more confidence and will definitely have the experience. Pavlyuchenkova has won 12 WTA titles in her career, while Zidansek has yet to win one. I believe that sort of experience will help push Pavyluchenkova over the edge in this close match.
Prediction: Pavlyuchenkova in three sets
Barbora Krejcikova vs Maria Sakkari (17)
Both Krejcikova and Sakkari had great straight set wins in their quarterfinal matches, with Krejcikova defeating Coco Gauff in an hour and 50 minutes, while Sakkari took out the defending champion in just an hour and 35 minutes.
Sakkari has to be the favorite to win this tournament, especially after taking out the defending champion in the quarters and also beating the 2020 finalist in the fourth round. Both of those wins were in straight sets, as Sakkari has a ton of confidence in herself on the court.
Krejcikova has looked dominate as well on the clay in Paris, defeating Sloane Stephens while dropping only two games, and also losing just five games in a straight sets win over Elina Svitolina.
I think that the winner of this match will be the favorite entering the final. Both come into this match only dropping one set the entire tournament and have only lost a combined 23 games in their last two rounds. This should be an exciting and close match, but I believe that in the end, Sakkari will get through and advance to the French Open final.