Welcome to Tennis Elbow, the column that looks ahead to the latest in tennis. Today, Charles Blouin-Gascon previews day 12 of the 2021 French Open.
At this point, all we ask for is consistency.
If you’re going to question the integrity and motivation behind the decision of someone who wishes to protect their mental well-being, then by god do the same thing for someone who wishes to protect their physical well-being. Do the same, too, for the person who more or less confirms that he abandoned in the middle of a match.
Alternatively, if you’re going to show empathy or sympathy toward one player, then by all means show it toward all three of them. Because in this life, you’re either someone who shows sympathy and empathy or you’re someone who doesn’t; you don’t get to do it selectively.
You don’t get to bash Naomi Osaka for prioritizing her mental well-being at the beginning of this event when she decided to forego post-match press conferences, only to then turn around and say what a wise decision Roger Federer made in withdrawing from a fourth round match. This isn’t how life works. You don’t get to say that Osaka is entitled and spoiled, only to then turn around and celebrate a 39-year-old man who admits to using your Grand Slam as a tune-up for another, bigger Grand Slam. You don’t get to clown Osaka, only to then turn around and marvel at Lorenzo Musetti’s guts for pulling the stunt that he did.
Or maybe you do. Then we’ll just call you hypocrites. Well, we won’t. We’ll show sympathy and empathy.
Day 12 preview
We’re moving to the singles semifinals and, just like we did for the quarterfinals, we’ll give our thoughts and formal predictions on the winner of each match. Let’s just hope we fare better here than we were over the past two days because we were abysmal for the eight quarterfinals. As always, find the day 12 schedule right here.
Court Philippe-Chatrier: Tamara Zidansek vs Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova  (Not before 3pm local time)
We were waiting on the coronation of one youngster, defending champion Iga Swiatek, but this year’s French Open instead has served as that of another young player. Slovenian Tamara Zidansek has taken advantage of a main draw that broke just right for her after a tough first round against Canadian Bianca Andreescu. She’s alternated easy wins with massive, tricky three-setters; by this logic, this semifinal should be an easy affair. But that’s without taking into account Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. The 29-year-old is now up to four three-set wins in a row in Paris. It seems like we may be wrong at predicting the winner, but it’s a good bet to say the match will go the distance. Let’s give the win to Zidansek in three sets.
Court Philippe-Chatrier: Barbora Krejcikova vs Maria Sakkari  (Fourth match of the day)
Tennis is such a difficult and ruthless sport. Because while you might be feted and hailed as the future of your sport one day, the following day you’re just eviscerated and there’s seemingly not much you can do about it. That’s what happened to Coco Gauff and Swiatek. Both Barbora Krejcikova and Maria Sakkari have emerged from the top section of the draw and they’ve earned their spot. They’ve each defeated three seeded players and now get to fight to reach a first Grand Slam final in their respective career. Each is playing with house money at this point; who will beat the house? Sakkari gets the win in two sets.
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