Mon, 02 Oct 2023

Alexander Zverev, Casper Ruud advance to French semis

Field Level Media
08 Jun 2023, 08:55 GMT+10

Alexander Zverev of Germany and fourth-seeded Casper Ruud of Norway punched their tickets to the semifinals of the French Open on Wednesday with matching four-set victories.

Ruud ousted fellow Scandinavian Holger Rune of Denmark 6-1, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.

Zverev, the No. 22 seed, needed three hours and 22 minutes to get past Tomas Martin Etcheverry of Argentina 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in their quarterfinal match at Roland Garros.

Ruud blasted five aces while the sixth-seeded Rune committed nine double faults among 47 unforced errors. Rune hit more winners than did Ruud (48-32), but the unforced errors were too much to overcome.

It's the second consecutive year that Ruud ousted Rune in the quarters of the French Open, and he improved to 5-1 career against the Dane, avenging a loss last month at Rome.

"I kind of looked at it as though he was the favorite -- he won the last time we played and he's had a better year than me so far," Ruud said. "I was feeling like the underdog even though I was seeded No. 4 and he was seeded No. 6."

Zverev fended off four break points and survived three double faults and five aces by Etcheverry in the fourth set to advance.

"The 5-4 game (fourth set) was incredible from both of us," Zverev said. "He was hitting the ball extremely hard and I was hitting the ball extremely hard. At the end of the day I think I deserved to win."

Etcheverry lashed eight aces for the match.

It was in the French semis last year when Zverev suffered ligament tears in his right ankle during a match against Rafael Nadal.

"It was the most difficult year of my life," Zverev said. "I love tennis with all my heart, I love the competitiveness and that was taken away exactly one year ago. I'm so happy to be back at this stage, I'm so happy to have the opportunity to play for a final at Roland Garros again, so I can't be happier."

Zverev draws Ruud in the semis.

--Field Level Media

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