The French Open is one of the most exciting tennis tournaments of the year, and the 2014 edition is heating up as the men’s semifinals matchups will take place on Friday.
Not only is No. 1 seed Rafael Nadal set to square off against No. 7 seed Andy Murray in a high-profile matchup, but No. 2 seed Novak Djokovic is also scheduled to take on red-hot No. 18 seed Ernests Gulbis in an unexpected semifinal.
Friday’s action could be the most anticipated thus far at Roland Garros.
Here is Friday’s TV schedule and all the vital live-stream details needed to enjoy the semifinals.
|Date||Time (ET)||Round||Watch||Live Stream|
|June 6||11 a.m.-2 p.m.||Men’s semifinals||NBC||NBC Sports Live Extra|
|June 6||7-11 a.m.||Men’s semifinals||Tennis Channel||NBC Sports Live Extra|
*Live stream via NBC Sports Live Extra.
No. 1 seed Rafael Nadal vs. No. 7 seed Andy Murray
When Nadal squares off against Murray in the semifinals, the tennis world will be focused on the matchup between two of the most recognizable stars in the sport.
Nadal is the king of Roland Garros. With eight previous titles at the French Open, there is no disputing that Nadal knows how to win on the clay and shut down his high-profile opponents, just as he did No. 5 seed David Ferrer in the quarterfinals.
The Spanish champion spoke to the media, via ATPWorldTour.com, about the adjustments he made during his match with Ferrer and how they led him to a victory:
I am rather happy to have been able to turn the situation around. I managed to pull through. Even though it was complicated, I managed to find solutions during the second set. The first set was mentally tough. I decided to go more inside to return in the second set, and I decided to play many more times with my forehand. When I did, I think the dynamic of the match changed.
Murray deserves immense credit for defeating ranked players like No. 28 seed Philipp Kohlschreiber, No. 24 seed Fernando Verdasco and No. 23 seed Gael Monfils, but he will face his toughest test by far with Nadal.
Just as Nadal adjusted to the strengths of Ferrer, Murray will likely come out fast and try to get the defending champion on the ropes early. If Nadal can weather the storm and make the proper changes needed on the fly, the Spanish star will send Murray back to Great Britain with a loss.
Let’s hope the matchup lives up to the marquee billing.
Predicted Score: Nadal, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1
No. 2 seed Novak Djokovic vs. No. 18 seed Ernests Gulbis
Gulbis is one of the most polarizing figures in the sports world, and his matchup with Djokovic has put the two men on display in front of the huge Grand Slam viewing audience.
Gulbis and Djokovic are former friends who have taken very different routes to get to this point, but now battle for the honor of advancing to the 2014 French Open final. As one of the most outspoken players on tour, Gulbis has no problem creating controversy.
When asked about his former friend, Gulbis told Cameron Tomarchio of The Daily Telegraph about how he thinks Djokovic has changed:
I swear there is more bitchiness in men’s tennis than women’s. I don’t like Djokovic that much. We know each other since I’m 12. He was a normal guy then, but since his first big success he changed, his eyes changed.
While there is no denying Gulbis’ success thus far, beating the likes of No. 4 seed Roger Federer and No. 6 seed Tomas Berdych en route to the semifinal, Djokovic has been just as impressive.
Not only did he beat ranked stars like No. 25 seed Marin Cilic, No. 13 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and No. 8 seed Milos Raonic, but he has also gained plenty of confidence as he attempts to win his first French Open and the career Grand Slam.
As well as Gulbis has played, he will be no match for a focused and motivated Djokovic.
Predicted Score: Djokovic, 6-4, 6-2, 6-1
*Stats via RolandGarros.com.