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2009 French Open - Nick's Picks - Men's Singles Semifinals

Fernando Gonzalez (CHI) vs. Robin Soderling (SWE)

Gonzalez was able to keep Murray pinned way back behind the baseline throughout the entire quarterfinal match. This allowed Gonzalez to hit drop shots, angled shots, and control the court with his forehand preventing Murray from making a run. This is Gonzalez's first time reaching the semis of any Grand Slam since he advanced to the finals of the 2007 Australian Open.

Soderling followed up his great win over Nadal with another very good win over Nikolay Davydenko. He crushed the Russian 6-1, 6-3, 6-1 in just 101 minutes to reach his first career Grand Slam semifinal. This is already the best tournament of Soderling's career and another win would just be the cherry on top!

Match-Up:

Gonzalez is 4-3 against Soderling and has beaten him twice on clay. Both men have huge forehands and big serves. Both can control the court with ease and hit winners with the best of them. Gonzalez had his way against Murray because he was able to control the court and Murray was standing so far behind the baseline that every shot was available for the Chilean. This will be a much different match because Soderling plays much more offensive and has a monster forehand of his own. This match could really go either way, but I am going to ride the hot-hand of Soderling and give him the edge.

Nick's Pick - Soderling in 4 or 5 sets

Roger Federer (SUI) vs. Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG)

Federer looked as determined as I have seen him this year in this straight-set victory over Gael Monfils in the quarterfinals. He had 13 more winners than errors and broke Monfilst three times in five chances. He knows that this title is more in reach than it has ever been before and it is going to take a monumental effort to stop him.

Del Potro is in the semifinals of a Grand Slam for the first time in his young career. The 6'6” Argentinean beat Spaniard Tommy Robredo in three sets to advance. At the age of 20, Del Potro is the youngest player left on the men's side and is clearly on his way to great things throughout his career.

Match-Up:

Federer is 5-0 against Del Potro, and that includes a win over him just a couple of weeks ago on clay at Madrid. In those five matches, Federer hasn't lost a set to Del Potro and has only dropped a total of 29 games. Federer has to be extremely confident going into this match. He just knocked off Monfils without dropping a set, Nadal is out, and he has a winning record against Del Potro. Having said that, Del Potro can definitely challenge Federer in this match with his booming serve, fantastic groundstrokes, and solid movement. For a big guy, Del Potro covers the court very well and will come in to put the ball away. In this match, he is going to have to end the rallies quickly. Basically hit a big serve and then put the point away. He cannot get into long cross-court rallies with Federer because he will lose. Federer can just do so much with the ball and with his confidence I give him the edge.

Nick's Pick - Federer in 4 sets

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