The semifinals are here! It’s been an incredible week of tennis in Nur-Sultan and we are down to the final four! Who will get to the championship match and who will fall short? We share our thoughts!
ATP Nur-Sultan Semifinal Predictions
John Millman vs Frances Tiafoe
Head to Head: tied 2-2
John Millman had an incredible rally in the quarterfinals against Tommy Paul. Millman saved two match points and rallied from *2-5 in the third and *0-5 in the third set tiebreak to advance to the semifinals. Frances Tiafoe also had a great recovery in his quarterfinal match against Egor Gerasmiov. Tiafoe came back from *4-3 40-30 in the third set against Gerasimov. Both players are certainly playing with house money at this point!
The head to head is tied 2-2, with Millman leading 2-1 on hard courts. However, Tiafoe recently beat Millman at the US Open in five sets. This is a very tough matchup to call. Will Tiafoe be able to show the controlled aggression necessary to win or will he overhit against Millman’s incredible consistency? Given that Tiafoe is in great form and Millman was not quite as sturdy from the baseline as usual, I expect Tiafoe to reach the final! But, it will be close.
Prediction: Tiafoe in 3
Adrian Mannarino vs Emil Ruusuvuori
Head to Head: never played
Adrian Mannarino has played four sets in Nur-Sultan and he’s won 6-1 in three of the four sets. In the quarterfinals, he took out Mackenzie McDonald 6-1 6-4. Emil Ruusuvuori is one step away from his first ATP Tour final. Ruusuvuori comfortably took out Mikhail Kukushkin in the quarterfinals.
These two have never played before. This is certainly a contrast in styles. Ruusuvuori is in the “big serve + big groundstrokes” camp where he wants to play aggressive, first-strike tennis. Mannarino, with his flat lefty game, is more comfortable in extended rallies using angles and trying to work the point. Mannarino’s game works very well on indoor hard. Ruusuvuori will be full of nerves as he experiences trying to make his first final at this level. Mannarino’s also in good form and has the ability to force Ruusuvuori to win points with higher-risk tennis. This will be a very tight match, but Mannarino’s game and experience will see him through.
Prediction: Mannarino in 3
Main Photo from Getty.