This article is part of our Tennis Picks series.
Both French Open women's singles semifinals will be played Thursday. The prohibitive favorite has been mowing down the competition, but could she face a stiffer test in the semis from an opponent that has yet to drop a set in this tournament? The second matchup features two first-time Grand Slam semifinalists, though for one it was always a matter of time while most thought the other would never get this far. All match odds below are taken from DraftKings Sportsbook, but you can sometimes find more favorable odds on some of these matches by checking other mobile sportsbooks such as FanDuel, BetMGM or Caesars.
Past clay-court results are important, but it's clear all four of these women are playing proficient tennis on the surface here and now since they're among the final four contenders for the title at Roland Garros. Conditions vary from tournament to tournament, and even from day to day, but clay generally plays slower than hard or grass, favoring players with better footwork, touch and ability to work the point rather than big servers. Keep that context in mind as you look for a betting edge in Thursday's matches.
At the beginning of this tournament, it was Swiatek vs. the field. Since then, the rest of the field has shrunk from 127 players to three, and the top seed's still standing. Of the remaining four players, Swiatek is the only one to make a Grand Slam semifinal before, and she went all the way at this tournament in 2020. Swiatek's winning streak now sits at 33 matches, and she has dropped just one set in this tournament and lost more than three games in only one other set.
All that being said, Kasatkina's actually a nice value at +700. The locked-in Russian experienced a bit of a wobble trying to close out countrywoman Veronika Kudermetova, but Kasatkina was ultimately able to do so in straight sets. She improved to 10-0 in sets at this tournament, having dropped just 24 games through five matches. This should be Swiatek's stiffest test yet, and it wouldn't be at all surprising if Kasatkina won a set. If Kasatkina can keep the scoreboard pressure on long enough, maybe the 21-year-old Swiatek will let the moment get to her as the prohibitive favorite.
Clay has emerged as the preferred surface for Gauff, which makes sense given the elongated motion on her forehand, even if her well-rounded mix of offense and defense allows her to thrive on all surfaces. Prior to making the semis here, Gauff's only Grand Slam quarterfinal came at the 2021 French Open. Many still believe she's destined for greatness, and the 18-year-old American has a wonderful opportunity to make her first Grand Slam final here. Gauff hasn't dropped a set in this tournament and has more game than Trevisan, but can she handle the pressure of being the favorite in the biggest match of her career to date?
Trevisan's a nice story, as the 28-year-old Italian isn't a player normally thought of as a contender at Grand Slams. She made the quarterfinals of the 2020 French Open, but that was dismissed as a one-off result, as Trevisan hadn't been past the second round of a major before or since. With this run on the heels of a title in Morocco in the week preceding the French Open, the 5-foot-3 Trevisan's clay-court prowess can no longer be denied. She has beaten two top-20 opponents during her current 10-match winning streak, so what Trevisan lacks in height, she makes up for in confidence. Like the first semifinal, there's a good chance the underdog's able to take a set, but winning the whole match will be an uphill battle.