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Day of the semis

There are only four left. Who will win the trophy on Sunday afternoon - Benjamin Bonzi, Andrey Rublev, Roman Safiullin or Felix Auger-Aliassime? Before that happens, the two finalists will have to be decided. This will be the result of semi-finals that will be unprecedented at the Open 13 Provence, but also on the circuit. In both cases, it is a question of players who have never faced each other before.

Benjamin Bonzi and Andrey Rublev will open the ball on centre court at 3pm. They are the number 2 and 9 seeds of the tournament. The Nîmes native, who has been living in Marseilles for more than two years now - he lives 10 minutes away from the Palais des Sports - will obviously be the favourite of a Centre Court that will be full for the occasion. A favourite, yes, but not the favourite. Even though he will have the support of the public, Bonzi, who is ranked 62 places below his opponent, will have to play his best tennis to outdo Andrey Rublev. The Russian is in top form and has become accustomed to playing French players at this 30th edition of the Open 13 Provence. Bonzi will be the third (and in any case the last), after Gasquet and Pouille. Moreover, the Russian is "a bit fed up with having the public against him, as well as a player on the other side of the net with nothing to lose. But when you are a Top 10 player, not French, and competing in a tournament like Marseille, "it's the game, my poor Lucette", as they say in the French quarter of Moscow.

The second semifinal of the day will also be a first time match on the circuit, between Felix Auger-Aliassime, number 3 seed of the tournament and on a 7 match winning streak thanks to his victory in Rotterdam last week, and Russian qualifier Roman Safiullin, ranked 163rd in the world. The Canadian is the overwhelming favourite. But whether it's the FAA, Rublev, Medvedev or Denis Shapovalov, they all agree that this former Russian tennis hopeful is full of talent. Contrary to his friends, he was a little late in coming into his own, mainly because of a few injuries that delayed his development. But at 24, Safiullin is now able to play tennis at a very high level. Like Bonzi against Rublev, or even more so, Safiullin has nothing to lose against FAA. He will be able to let go of his arm and show off the talent that everyone is talking about.

If logic holds, we should see Rublev and Auger-Aliassime in the final. This would be a remake of last week's semi-final in Rotterdam, won by the Canadian. But hey, logic in tennis? You can talk to Stefanos Tsitsipas or Aslan Karatsev. They'll tell you it's not worth much.


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