The identify of three of this year’s French Open quarter-finals has been confirmed – two in the men’s draw and one in the women’s, yet Day 9’s washout and the uncertain forecast for the rest of the week leaves it unclear whether those encounters will take place on Day 10.
Whether they go down as planned or are held back until Wednesday, Shelby Rogers v Garbine Muguruza, Albert Ramos-Vinola v Stan Wawrinka and Richard Gasquet v Andy Murray are all very intriguing contests, with even more enticing bets connected to each…
Garbine getting progressively closer
Spain are used to having something to celebrate at Roland Garros, with Rafael Nadal winning the men’s singles in nine of the last 11 years, but 18 years have passed since they last had a female Grand Slam winner.
Rarely has that looked more likely to change though than at the French Open where Nadal’s bid for a tenth title were ended by an injury withdrawal two matches in, with Muguruza the 4/1 second favourite and ticking almost every box.
She has previous at the tournament, reaching the quarter-finals in 2014 and 2015, she has been close to the pinnacle before, losing last year’s Wimbledon final, and she is in excellent form, winning her latest three matches in straight sets at a loss of just 12 games.
The Venezuelan-born 22-year-old also has an unseeded last-eight foe in Rogers. The American has exceeded even her own expectations thus far, but this is a sizable step-up, and one which should allow Muguruza to get the job done in under 19.5 games for the fourth round in a row.
Best bet: Under 19.5 games @ 4/5
Wawrinka takes a look in the mirror
Having been never been beyond the second round of a Grand Slam before, Ramos-Vinolas is having the fortnight of his life at Roland Garros, and latest opponent Wawrinka will know better than to snort “this guy has done nothing by the age of 28 – this should be easy”.
After all, the Swiss player didn’t reach his first semi-final until that age and breaking that barrier transformed his career, as he won the next Grand Slam – the 2014 Australian Open – then triumphed at this tournament last year.
Now he is vulnerable to guzzling his own medicine and, though the holder is a 1/8 favourite for the victory, the combination of his unremarkable performance to date – dropping three sets and being taken to tie breaks in two others – and Ramos-Vinolas’ spectacular fourth-round showing against eighth seed Milos Raonic (6-2 6-4 6-4) suggests that the 5/1 outsider will at the very least take a set.
Gasquet and Murray to replay their greatest hits
Just when Murray thought he had escaped the five-set hell that engulfed him against Radek Stepanek and Mathias Bourgue at the start of the competition with straight-sets successes against big-servers Ivo Karlovic and John Inser, along comes Gasquet.
The Frenchman’s clashes with the second seed are routinely epic, with only one of their last nine meetings decided “to nil”, and none of the five since 2012. They have collided four times before at Grand Slams and two of those went the distance, with Murray twice prevailing from 2-0 down.
With Gasquet enjoying his finest ever effort at his home major and coming through Thomaz Bellucci, Bjorn Fratangelo, Nick Kyrgios and Kei Nishikori convincingly, the Brit quite possibly needs to survive another five-setter to earn a spot in the semi-finals for the third year running.
Best bet: Exactly five sets @ 3/1
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.