Friday saw plenty of exciting action at the Rotterdam Open, with the field whittled down from eight men to just four. All four players left in contention will now surely be dreaming of glory, with the chance to win an ATP 500 title not an everyday occurrence. But who will book their place in the final on Sunday?
Rotterdam Open Semifinal Predictions
Pablo Carreno Busta vs Felix Auger-Aliassime
Head-to-head: first meeting
Pablo Carreno Busta appears be enjoying the new surface at the Rotterdam Open. That is not to say that the Spaniard has found things entirely straightforward in Holland, as he has been taken the distance in all three of his matches so far. But he has hung tough to pull out impressive wins over Adrian Mannarino, sixth seed Roberto Bautista Agut and the young gun Jannik Sinner. Against the Italian in the last eight, he had to save two match points in the deciding tiebreak, but won four points on the bounce to clinch victory.
That set up a first meeting with the rising Canadian star Felix Auger-Aliassime. The teenager had arrived at the Rotterdam Open in indifferent form, but he has played some fine tennis to reach the semifinals, albeit with a hint of inconsistency remaining. Nonetheless, he deserves real credit for his efforts so far this week, with his straight-sets wins over former-world #3 Grigor Dimitrov and the dangerous Aljaz Bedene some of the most solid of his fledgling career.
This looks likely to be a close contest, with both men possessing real quality. Auger-Aliassime will need to remain aggressive and attempt to keep the points short. Carreno Busta may well fancy his chances in the relatively slow conditions, particularly if he can keep the Canadian pinned behind the baseline. But what may prove decisive is Auger-Aliassime’s greater power, which gives him an ability to dictate proceedings which Carreno Busta cannot match.
Prediction: Auger-Aliassime in 3
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Gael Monfils vs Filip Krajinovic
Head-to-head: Monfils 2-0 Krajinovic
Gael Monfils has looked all but dead on his feet all week at the Rotterdam Open, but the Frenchman, who last week won the title in Montpellier, has managed to keep on winning. He has now lost just one set in his last seven matches and is clearly at home in Rotterdam, where he won on of the biggest titles of his career last season. But he may need to be at his best up against Filip Krajinovic of Serbia, who has enjoyed some significant successes indoors in his own right.
Krajinovic managed to survive the huge forehand of Andrey Rublev in the quarterfinals, handing the Russian just his second defeat of the season so far. No mean feat for the former Paris Masters finalist. However, he has lost to Monfils in both of their previous meetings, the most recent of which came just last week in the semifinals in Montpellier, where the Frenchman won 7-6 6-2. Krajinovic did have chances in that match, with his ability to take the ball early and on the rise giving Monfils problems.
And with the third seed relying heavily on his physicality and court-coverage, Krajinovic could exploit the amount of tennis Monfils has played over the last fortnight. Particularly as the Serbian has not yet dropped a set so far at the Rotterdam Open. But Monfils, for all his apparent weariness, has cut a determined figure so far in Rotterdam and he may well have more in the tank than his body language suggests. Expect a closer contest than in Montpellier, but ultimately the same outcome.
Prediction: Monfils in 3
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