The Pick RG SF Nadal Zverev

World No. 5 Rafael Nadal earned a remarkable win over world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the French Open quarterfinals, setting up a semifinal with world No. 3 Alexander Zverev. The talk was all about Rafa after his four-set win, but lost in that day was Zverev's victory over world No. 6 Carlos Alcaraz, where the 25-year-old took his game to new heights.

Defeating Alcaraz felt like a huge moment in Zverev’s career, especially considering the fact that the Spaniard beat him, 6-3, 6-1, in only an hour and four minutes in Madrid on May 8. If you watched that match, it didn’t seem like Zverev would have a shot at beating the 19-year-old at Roland Garros, but he dug deep and found a way to do it. And he did so with the entire crowd pulling for Alcaraz, all while Spaniard improved dramatically over the third and fourth sets.

But Zverev never let that get to him, and he came up with some huge shots when it mattered most. Now, he has to be feeling rather confident heading into his meeting with Nadal.


Nadal’s win over Djokovic was incredibly impressive—his 110th at Roland Garros, against just three defeats. However, the Spaniard did have a lot of trouble in his five-set win over world No. 9 Felix Auger-Aliassime in the round of 16, and there’s just no telling how he’s going to feel on any given day. That makes backing him as a heavy favorite (-360) extremely difficult, as Nadal has noted that he is dealing with chronic foot pain. And when Nadal is feeling that pain on the court, his game can start to look vulnerable.

With the 35-year-old being something of a question mark, banking on Zverev to make this a highly competitive match seems like the best way to go about betting on the men’s semifinals. The 25-year-old has won three of his last four matches against Nadal, and the level we saw him reach against Alcaraz is definitely good enough to challenge the 21-time Grand Slam champion. His serve should be a big factor in helping him do so, despite some noted second-serve stumbles. But Zverev’s first serve can be really tough to deal with when he’s dialed in.

Meanwhile, Nadal has had some loose service games over the past few weeks, which means that Zverev could have some opportunities to break in this one—and his length makes him a dangerous returner to begin with .

Zverev’s past struggles at majors obviously make it hard to truly believe in him winning this match, but we believe that his talent will allow him to at least make it go the distance. And considering you can get him to win two sets at plus-money, you’d be risk-free entering a potential decider.

The Pick: Zverev To Win Two Sets (+130)