This weekend, the French Open heats up, the international football matches continue, and the French Top 14 gets the the business end of things. Here’s the matches you can’t afford to miss this weekend:
Williams v Bertens (Roland Garros women’s semi-final)
Williams will compete in the fifth Roland Garros semi-final of her career. The least successful grand slam by Williams’s very high standards, but she will still hold the cards to her success in a match against Bertens, who is relatively unknown at this stage of a major. Bertens is a dangerous player that has a tendency to win a string of matches in succession when high on confidence. A confident Bertens will cause problems for most players and she has demonstrated that with her win over Angelique Kerber in the first round of the French Open. Williams leads the head to head 1-0. The only meeting came in the US Open of last year, in which Williams won in straight sets.
Djokovic v Thiem (Roland Garros men’s semi-final)
Friday, Not before 15:00
In a contest between the current No. 1 and a potential future No. 1, Novak Djokovic takes on Dominic Thiem in the semifinals of the 2016 French Open. Djokovic has been here before, yet he’s still trying to win his first French Open title. Thiem, 22, is playing in his first Grand Slam semifinal. He is the youngest player to reach the semifinals at Roland Garros since Juan Martin Del Potro in 2009. The win will elevate the Austrian to the Top 10 for the first time in his career.
South Africa v Gambia (AFCON 2017 Qualifier)
South Africa sit 3rd in Group M on just 3 points and they trail leaders Cameroon by 5 points, and surprise package Mauritania by 4 points. Bafana face a massive task and will probably need to not only win both their games but hope results in other groups go their way and they go through as runners up. South Africa have been very poor in these qualifiers; South Africa have to throw caution to the win and chase the game. They look capable of winning the match and we’re going to back them to do so with 3 or more goals being scored.
West Indies v South Africa (ODI cricket)
The tri-series between Australia, South Africa and hosts West Indies gets underway with a tie that will see the hosts locking horns with South Africa in Providence stadium of Guyana. This is the first time West Indies will be playing a match after their World T20 triumph in India. South Africa too will be seen first time in action after their T20 debacle where they got knocked out in the group stage. Interestingly, it was the West Indies who knocked South Africa out in the World T20 in India. West Indies’ best chance would lie in stifling the life out of the strong South African batting line up with spin. However, a certain AB de Villiers will be licking his lips in anticipation as the last two times he batted against a West Indies bowling attack in ODIs, he ended up notching the fastest 50, 100 and 150.
Racing Metro v Montpellier (French Top 14)
Both teams come off wins. Jake White’s Montpellier with a South African flavour beat the formidable Toulon team 36-21 last weekend to confirm their recent great form. Racing Metro overcame La Rochelle 30-14, but the strength of that opposition was hardly much to write home about. This will be the last round of the French Top 14 before the semi-finals. These two teams are likely to square off again next weekend with Montpellier almost assured of home ground advantage by virtue of coming second, one place above Metro. What types of squads each team will send is up for debate. Recent form points to Montpellier though.
What match are you most excited for this weekend? Let us know in the comments below and tweet us at @MenStuffZA.