Welcome to Tennis Elbow, the column that looks ahead to the latest in tennis. Today, Charles Blouin-Gascon previews day 13 of the 2020 French Open.
It feels like it should be a bigger deal and a bigger story.
As the tennis world turns here in Paris and we get done with all four singles semifinals, it was a mere couple of days ago that it was basically swept under the proverbial rug that local police announced they were launching a probe to look into match-fixing.
Yes, really. But wait, it gets worse. Not only was this probe announced at this year’s French Open but it was actually related to this year’s edition of the Grand Slam event. Oops.
The office of the prosecutor mentioned that “the investigation is centred on suspicions concerning one match at Roland Garros” but wouldn’t specify which one it is or isn’t.
Probably because of this, German newspaper Die Welt and its French sports counterpart L’Équipe went to work and now feel confident explaining that the probe is looking at a women’s first round doubles match from Sept. 30. According to their report, it’s the one between Andreea Mittu and Patricia Maria Tig, and Yana Sizikova and Madison Brengle.
For now we’ll mention that the fact this would have allegedly happened in a doubles first round match isn’t surprising: if you’re going to look at fixing a tennis match, it seems likely that you’ll be trying to do it for one that isn’t the most watched or followed. Remember, you essentially have to do something that anyone could see but that they don’t because they don’t know what it is they’re searching nor where to look for it. You have to do something in broad daylight without anyone catching you; of course you won’t pick a massive or important match.
(You know, if you presumably allegedly were into this type of thing.)
This new allegation of match-fixing isn’t the first to shake the sport and likely won’t be the last one either. What’s quite stunning and surprising about this specific one is that it’s happened at one of the sport’s four (three in the case of our year since we skipped Wimbledon) biggest stages.
We’ll let authorities and those in positions of power do their job, because far from us the idea of guessing whether this was or wasn’t a case of match-fixing. We just hope it won’t be the last we hear of this.
As for now, let’s give our predictions on the two men’s semifinals played on day 13. (You can see the day’s schedule in full here.)
Matches of the Day
Court Philippe Chartrier: Rafael Nadal  vs Diego Schwartzman  (First match of the day: start at 2:50pm local time)
Look, we know what you’re thinking. You’re saying to yourself, well you know that Argentine Diego Schwartzman is actually the very last person to beat Rafael Nadal on clay and that this loss happened just a few days ago. What could happen is that this loss has lingered on the Spaniard’s mind and maybe, just maybe…Yeah, no. We just got done telling you how ridiculous Nadal has been on the Parisian clay, where he’s only lost twice in his career. This semifinal won’t be the third time: Nadal in three sets.
Court Philippe Chatrier: Novak Djokovic  vs Stefanos Tsitsipas  (Second match of the day: Not before 5pm local time)
Serbian Novak Djokovic did well to escape the quarterfinals unscathed and in relatively «good» health, having spent relatively minimal energy as he beat Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta. Maybe now we can move on from the ball-to-throat incident from the US Open? It won’t be easy here, but Djokovic gets the win in five sets.
Follow Charles Blouin-Gascon on Twitter @RealCBG