The second two men's quarter-finals are scheduled at the French Open on Wednesday, and after a shock exit for Dominic Thiem yesterday, Dan Weston is back to see if there is the prospect for any similar surprises...
"Today provides Djokovic with an opportunity to address that default and it would be a huge shock if the world number one doesn’t get the job done and progress to the semi-finals."
Schwartzman ousts Thiem in five-hour epic
Diego Schwartzman took the headlines on Tuesday with a five-set win over Dominic Thiem, eventually prevailing 6-2 in the fifth set in a clash lasting in excess of five hours. There were 38 break points in the match with both players holding serve less than 70% of the time - something I predicted in yesterday's preview.
The big winner from that match, ironically, is probably Rafa Nadal. Schwartzman having played a five-hour epic, is unlikely to be close to peak condition for a match against Nadal, who still hasn't dropped a set in the entire tournament after his three-set win over Jannik Sinner late last night - the schedule hasn't been released yet but I'm anticipating this to be played on Friday.
Rublev faces Tsitsipas in repeat of Hamburg final
Before this, however, there are two further men's quarter-finals to be played. Andrey Rublev defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Hamburg final several weeks ago and has actually won all three of their non-exhibition clashes so far (albeit one being in a Challenger in January 2017).
It's tough to give much thought to those meetings combined for today, although the match in Hamburg was extremely tight, with Tsitsipas losing despite creating more break point chances. Tsitsipas is the favourite here, at 5/81.62, and this looks a little bit short but not really by that much - I'd have him more around the 8/111.75 mark for this.
Given this, there's not much actionable value here, and I think that a very slightly return-orientated, highly competitive match is in prospect. It wouldn't surprise me at all if the duo ended up playing another tight, epic, match today.
Djokovic likely to get revenge for default
Unfortunately, this isn't likely to be the case in today's second quarter-final with Novak Djokovic a heavy 1/121.08 favourite over Pablo Carreno-Busta. The duo met in the US Open around a month ago with this being Djokovic's only 'defeat' all season in main tour matches - via his notorious default.
Today provides Djokovic with an opportunity to address that default and it would be a huge shock if the world number one doesn't get the job done and progress to the semi-finals. My model has him at 1/91.11 for this and I think even if Carreno-Busta wins a set then it will probably represent a decent return for the Spaniard here - Djokovic is simply the better clay-courter by some distance and only one player lies ahead of him from a statistical basis. That man is the King of Clay, Rafa Nadal, and the duo are still scheduled to meet in Sunday's final.
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