Expect plenty of exciting action on semifinal day at the ATP Estoril Open in central Portugal. There will be plenty of quality on display and, with the French Open just weeks away, all four players will no doubt be desperate to make winning a habit. As always, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for both semifinals, but who will reach Sunday’s final?
ATP Estoril Semifinal Predictions
Marco Cecchinato vs Miomir Kecmanovic
Head-to-head: Kecmanovic 1-0 Cecchinato
When this pair met just over a year ago in Santiago, Miomir Kecmanovic ran out a comfortable 7-5 6-1 winner. He may not find things so straightforward this time around. Maro Cecchinato has been out of form for some time now, but when he is on song he is a dangerous opponent and he has been playing some good tennis this week. Good enough to beat Diego Schwartzman, Fabio Fognini and third seed Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, losing just one set in the process.
Kecmanovic has impressed too, with the Serbian scoring wins over Luca Nardi, Juriuj Rodionov and Bernabe Zapate Miralles for the loss of just a handful of games. If he can maintain that level, it will take the very best of Cecchinato if the Italian is to win this match. Cecchinato does have it in him, he has reached a French Open semifinal after all, beating Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals. But although this week has marked a welcome return to form, he is not yet back to his very best.
Prediction: Kecmanovic in 3
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Casper Ruud vs Quentin Halys
Head-to-head: Ruud 1-0 Halys
Casper Ruud has endured a difficult start to the season, but returning to his preferred clay has brought about an upturn in his fortunes. The Norwegian arrived at the ATP Estoril Open with an indifferent 5-6 record for 2023, but after battling past home hope Joao Sousa he put Sebastian Baez to the sword, winning 6-3 6-0 to remind the tour what he is capable of on the terre battue. Roland Garros is still a long way off, but this has been a promising week for the 2022 runner-up.
Quentin Halys, meanwhile, is having probably his best season at tour-level. The Frenchman achieved a career-high ranking of world #61 earlier this season and looks well-placed to cement his position as a tour-level regular over the coming months. But beating Ruud does look like a tall-order. Halys extended the Norwegian to five-sets in their only previous meeting at the Australian Open in 2018, but Ruud is a much better player five years down the line. Halys has improved too, but probably not enough.
Prediction: Ruud in 2
Main photo credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports