The French Open is one of the most exciting tournaments of the year, and the 2014 edition of the Grand Slam has reached the marquee men’s semifinals matchups.
With huge names like No. 1 seed Rafael Nadal squaring off against No. 7 seed Andy Murray and No. 2 seed Novak Djokovic battling former friend and No. 18 seed Ernests Gulbis, the matchups on Friday are must-watch television for any fan.
Here is the full schedule for Day 13 and a preview of each men’s semifinal match.
|Date||Time (ET)||Round||Watch||Live Stream|
|June 6||11 a.m. to 2 p.m.||Men’s semifinals||NBC||NBC Sports Live Extra|
|June 6||7 a.m. to 11 a.m.||Men’s semifinals||Tennis Channel||NBC Sports Live Extra|
|Player 1||Player 2||Court||Predicted Winner|
|Novak Djokovic||vs.||Ernests Gulbis||Court Chatrier||Djokovic|
|Rafael Nadal||vs.||Andy Murray||Court Chatrier||Nadal|
For the full schedule, check out RolandGarros.com.
Top Matchups on Day 13
No. 1 seed Rafael Nadal vs. No. 7 seed Andy Murray
The most exciting match of Day 13 will undoubtedly be the high-profile meeting between No. 1 seed Rafael Nadal and No. 7 seed Andy Murray. Each man is incredibly popular amongst the fans, and the battle between the two will have all eyes on Roland Garros.
Nadal is almost unstoppable at the French Open, having won eight of the last nine Grand Slam tournaments at Roland Garros, and he will be looking to add another in 2014. For Murray, he is trying to advance to the finals in the event for the first time ever.
Murray has earned his way into the semifinals by beating the likes of No. 28 seed Philipp Kohlschreiber, No. 24 seed Fernando Verdasco and No. 23 seed Gael Monfils en route to the matchup against Nadal.
After a thrilling game that came down to the wire on Day 11, NBC Sports' official Twitter account talked about just how dominant Murray was against Monfils to close Wednesday’s action:
Andy Murray just TOOK OVER the 5th set, winning 6-0 to beat the sunset and beat Gael Monfils to advance to the semis. http://t.co/hrtDTZRRWy— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) June 4, 2014
Tennis legend Billie Jean King also voiced her support for Murray:
As well as Murray has played, he is still no match for a player like Nadal. The Spanish star knows the clay of Roland Garros better than anyone, and when he is healthy, there is no man in the sport who can beat him.
He looks as healthy as he has in the past several years, and with Nadal having dropped only one set all tournament (lost the first set to No. 5 seed David Ferrer in the quarterfinals), Murray will have little chance to upset the favorite.
Predicted Score: Nadal wins 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1
No. 2 seed Novak Djokovic vs. No. 18 seed Ernests Gulbis
There are plenty of casual fans who know and enjoy watching No. 2 seed Novak Djokovic play at Grand Slam tournaments, but the player turning the most heads recently is No. 18 seed Ernests Gulbis.
Gulbis has created controversy during his short career with his views and opinions, but he amplified his honesty when he told Cameron Tomarchio of The Daily Telegraph about how he thinks his old friend Djokovic has changed:
"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."
This on-court battle just got personal.
There will always be a sect of traditionalist fans who hate the trash talk, but it's clear Gulbis isn't going to stop speaking his mind. He has already knocked off both No. 4 seed Roger Federer and No. 6 seed Tomas Berdych.
Which match are you more excited to watch?
Not only has Djokovic beat ranked players No. 25 Marin Cilic, No. 13 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and No. 8 Milos Raonic en route to the semifinals, but he also overcame adversity in those matchups to prepare him for the war against Gulbis on Friday.
Djokovic has the French Open title on his mind. After reaching the finals in 2012 but never winning the tournament, he will be looking to complete the career Grand Slam by advancing to the finals once again.
Predicted Score: Djokovic wins 6-4, 6-2, 6-1
Stats via RolandGarros.com.