French Open in Paris, semi-finals, Thursday, 09.06.2023

Alexander Zverev has reached the semi-finals of Roland Garros for the third time in a row. On Friday, the German will have to face last year’s finalist Casper Ruud.

It would be Zverev’s first appearance in the final at the French Open – and only his second at Grand Slam level. In my Ruud Zverev tip, I give you a prediction for the match.

Zverev’s big dream could finally come true on Sunday: Win a Grand Slam tournament for the first time! At the French Open on Friday, he will be in a corresponding semi-final for the third time overall.

In 2021, he missed out on a place in the final after a dramatic five-set loss to Stefanos Tsitsipas, in which he first fought back from 0-2 down to come back to 2-2.

Last year, the Hamburg-born player had to play Rafael Nadal – exactly the match in which he tore his ligaments seven times. For optimal rehabilitation, he even went under the knife for three ligaments.

Until he gave up, he played at a high level against Nadal, lost the first set but was in control in the second. This year he now has the next chance to reach the final.

This would be his second appearance in the final after the US Open in 2020. Back then, he narrowly lost in the tiebreak of the all-decisive fifth set to his buddy Dominic Thiem.

But in the semi-finals he first has to get past Casper Ruud, who was in the final at Roland Garros last year but had no chance against Nadal.

At 1.80 odds, Zverev even goes into the match as a slight favourite. Bet365 gives the Norwegian 2.00 odds. This will be the fifth duel between the two stars.

The current score is 3:1 for the German, who has won two duels in 2021 without dropping a set. Zverev also recorded a third victory without a fight, as the Norwegian was unable to compete.

Zverev and Ruud last faced each other in March 2022. As in the previous matches, this duel was again played on hard court.

This time, however, the Norwegian prevailed after three sets. Since then, the two Grand Slam finalists have not met again.

As the bettors expect a close match, there are already useful odds of 1.37 at Betano for under 4.5 sets. Definitely a good bet for a combination ticket….

So far, I’ve had the pleasure of writing a forecast for three Zverev matches at the French Open – and three times my recommended odds went through.

I expect a close match, but not one that goes over five sets. In the first five rounds, both players failed to go the full length of the match.

Those who want to go straight for a Zverev win with a maximum of four sets in the match could also consider the -1.5 set handicap bet. Betano provides odds of 2.35 for this market.

Should he beat Ruud, it would be Zverev’s first win against a top-10 player since his comeback. For that, however, he needs more stability on the second serve compared to the quarter-finals.

He won against Tomas Martin Etcheverry in four sets, but produced nine double faults on his own service. Not a good statistic with only seven aces hit at the same time.

Only 39 percent of his points were won on his second serve. With 76 percent of the points won after the first serve, the parade serve had done its job again.

The fast Zverev also showed his qualities in the return game. In total, he had eleven break chances against the strong-serving Argentinean and made use of five of them.

He has to build on that against Ruud. The Norwegian recently took Geneva winner and Zverev’s last defeater to date, Nicolas Jarry, out of the tournament – and subsequently Holger Rune.

He won surprisingly clear sets (6-1, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3) against his Scandinavian rival, whom he has now defeated in five of six matches.

Summary: Zverev won two of the last three duels against Ruud. However, all previous matches do not have too much significance as they were played on hard courts.

The Norwegian in particular is stronger on red clay compared to other surfaces. However, the German has the greater playing potential if he can play to his maximum.

After all, in the previous matches, he has bagged the sets in rows when his own indications came reliably. That’s also because he always won at least five breaks in the last four rounds.

I am convinced that he can continue to improve and will reach the final. That’s why in my Ruud Zverev tip I’m going for a win for Zverev.