ATP TIPS: We preview the Winston-Salem Open semi-finals, featuring three players ranked outside the world’s top 50, who will be looking to head into the US Open on a high.

Van de Zandschulp the highest ranked player remaining

Botic van de Zandschulp (pictured below) has enjoyed a fantastic year of tennis, recently rising from outside the top 100 to a career-high rank of 23. Turning pro in 2016, van de Zandschulp was playing small tournaments with little interest from fans for a number of years before he rapidly rose, bursting onto the scene in 2021 with a run to the quarter finals of the US Open. He has maintained his form his year, making it to the round of 16 at Wimbledon and winning almost half of his $2.2 million earnings before September.

Taking it all in his stride, the Dutchman has established himself in the top 30, and despite not taking any titles in his career, he has made it to the final stages of many and appears to be getting ever closer to a successful run and a deserved first trophy.

Having not made the trip to the United States this time last year, van de Zandschulp finds himself in the semi-finals of the Winston-Salem Open, the final of the US Open series before the tournament itself, and is the favourite to go the whole way. Yet to drop a set so far, the Dutchman is showing how far he has come in the last year and proving that he can be a real threat to the big players on the biggest stages.

He goes into his semi final tie against Adrian Mannarino, the world number 65, as the 1.55 favourite and looks likely to make it to the final.

His French adversary has also had a very impressive tournament in North Carolina, only dropping one set in his first match. Though not playing his best tennis over the course of the year, Mannarino has beaten some top players in David Goffin and Alex de Minaur and will go into this semi-final expecting to give his opponent a difficult match.

Bowing out of the French Open in the first round and the second at Wimbledon, the Frenchman will be looking to build on his momentum in this tournament and go into the US Open with confidence.

Losing to van de Zandschulp the only time he has faced him professionally in his career, Mannarino isn’t the favourite in this tie, but a good performance could see him give the 6’3” Dutchman plenty to think about. At 2.69, he is not expected to win, but an upset isn’t out of the equation.

For van de Zandschulp v Mannarino markets click here

Two underdogs with a shot at the final

Beating Richard Gasquet, David Goffin and Joao Sousa already at the Winston-Salem tournament, the world 89, Laslo Djere, has proven that he is not an opponent to be taken lightly and, despite his lower ranking, can deal damage against the world’s top players.

Djere has come up against one of the hardest draws of any player in the tournament though he has failed to let that phase him and has produced some of the best tennis of his career, defeating players ranked a lot higher than himself.

Winning the Rio and Sardinia Open in 2019 and 2020, he is no stranger to glory. If he continues his high level of tennis, he has every chance of getting through this tough semi-final and one step closer to another trophy.

He may want to improve his consistency at major tournaments, as in the last four he has played, he has failed to get past the second round. A win in this match and a successful day in the final, however, could be the turn in fate he is after and at 1.97 to win here, it is certainly on the cards.

Standing in his way is Marc-Andrea Huesler, the lowest ranked player left in the tournament at 102. He has beaten some tough opponents on his way to the semi-final, and after an impressive qualification at Wimbledon, it appears he knows how to fight.

Huesler is the favourite in the betting at 1.92. After beating Jack Draper in the last round, who had beaten former world number three Dominic Thiem in the round of 16, he is likely to go onto the court with high confidence and belief. However, based on the form of his opponent, it is hard to see him emerging victorious without a close-fought battle in this one.

For Djere v Huesler markets click here