There are four men and four women now remaining in the 2013 French Open. The list of eight remaining players is a strong one, and we should have at least three, if not four, very intriguing semifinal encounters over the next couple days.
The top two contenders on each side are still very much alive. Unfortunately for the men, the two favorites have a battle in the semis instead of the finals.
Another interesting factor for the men's semis is that for the first time since the 2010 French Open, there will be a Grand Slam semifinal contested without one of the Big Four in men's tennis (Djokovic, Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray). Murray withdrew from the tournament due to a bad back while Federer was upset in the quarters by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
The Frenchman Tsonga will be looking to advance to his second career Grand Slam final (Australian Open 2008) while David Ferrer has never won a major semifinal.
The two women's favorites are the two top seeds—defending champion Maria Sharapova as well as world No. 1 Serena Williams. Not always known in the past for their play on the clay, that has really changed in the past two seasons.
They are joined in Thursday's semifinal matches by 2012 runner-up Sara Errani and two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka. All four players are currently ranked in the top five in the world.
Within the next 96 hours, we will have two more Grand Slam champions crowned. Let's preview the four semifinals, in order of compelling factor.