Alexander Zverev is now just one win from defending his semi final points from last year’s French Open, an achievement that definitely looked unlikely only a few weeks ago. Tomas Martin Etcheverry‘s run is one of stories of the tournament outside the top stars but the Argentinian is an opponent that Zverev really should expect to comfortably beat at this stage of the tournament at this level.
Etcheverry is now the only player to have not dropped a set at the tournament although he will have played one match less than the two semi finalists so far. He has taken the form from Challengers and South American tournaments into this event, beating three seeds to get to this stage. Borna Coric, Alex de Minaur and Yoshihito Nishioka are not the toughest trio but at this level it is all about successfully taking your chances when the draw falls your way. His fourth round win against Nishioka was the most comfortable of the lot, running away with it 7-6 6-0 6-1 in the end.
Zverev has been thriving in the night sessions here, having won for the third time running in that spot against Grigor Dimitrov. There were some spots where his level dipped but he remained solid enough to take it 6-1 6-4 6-3, thankfully accepting the fifty unforced errors from the Bulgarian. The difference showed on break points too with Zverev going an impressive 7/15 to his opponent’s 2/16.
While his double fault count may be approaching something of a concern, Zverev’s serve will be key to getting through this one with the minimum of fuss. With a good day, he should be able to dictate from the start and take control of points against what may well be a nervy opponent. Experience could play a part with Zverev having been here before on several occasions while Etcheverry had only won one slam match prior to this event. The winner of Casper Ruud and Holger Rune will be the favourite in any semi final but an improving Zverev is in with a good chance of making his first French Open final if he makes it through this potential banana skin match.
Prediction – Alexander Zverev in four sets