Men's Semifinal: Dominic Thiem vs. Novak Djokovic
After losing his first five meetings against Novak Djokovic, Thiem will look to win his third consecutive match against the world No. 1. The clay-court star got the better of the Serb at the 2017 French Open and the 2018 Monte Carlo Masters.
Djokovic received a free pass into the semifinal after Marin Cilic withdrew due to a case of food poisoning. Could it be detrimental to Djokovic, who has found a rhythm and built some momentum in his first two matches? With any other player the added rest would help Djokovic, but the Austrian is as fit as can be, and fatigue will not be a factor for him in a three-set match.
This semifinal should provide some of the best rallies we'll see all year. Djokovic’s unparalleled defensive skills against Thiem’s unrelenting pace and spin is a match made in tennis heaven. After saving two match points against Roger Federer, Thiem may feel like he is playing with house money. This match is a total toss-up, so sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.
Women's Final: Simona Halep vs. Kiki Bertens
Bertens is having another career week. She has yet to drop a set in her five matches in Madrid, or even play a tiebreak. You could argue she is playing the best clay-court tennis of any player on tour. But her toughest test awaits: Halep, who can regain the world No. 1 ranking, and earn her third title in Madrid, with a victory.
Bertens will need to continue her dominance on serve. She leads the WTA with 192 aces so far this season, and she'll need plenty of them to take out Halep. The Romanian has the rare ability to win matches with multiple game styles: if needed, she can use her speed and counterpunching to grind down her opponents; if needed, she can play more assertively and take command of the points.
Bertens will need to play first-strike tennis to win; Halep won't give anything away. Although she moves exceptionally well for her size, Bertens will not beat Halep by playing defense. Halep has won four 6-0 sets this week—including the third set of her semifinal, against Belinda Bencic—and has been dominating her opponents. Look for Halep to secure her third Madrid title and regain the No. 1 ranking in a tough match between two of the very best clay-courters in the sport.
Men's Semifinal: Rafael Nadal vs. Stefanos Tsitsipas