MX23RW : Monday, December 4 19:49:39| >> :600:15369614:15369614:

Casper Ruud sets up French Open final with Novak Djokovic

Casper Ruud sets up French Open final with Novak Djokovic
© Reuters
Novak Djokovic and Casper Ruud set up a tantalising French Open final thanks to respective semi-final wins over Carlos Alcaraz and Alexander Zverev on Friday.

Casper Ruud will compete in his second successive French Open final against two-time champion Novak Djokovic following respective semi-final wins for the duo on Friday.

In the day's first encounter, Djokovic ended Carlos Alcaraz's dreams of a maiden Roland-Garros crown with a 6-3 5-7 6-1 6-1 win over the Spaniard, who was hampered by an injury in the second half of the match, before Ruud downed Alexander Zverev 6-3 6-4 6-0.

Alcaraz had barely broken a sweat in victories over Lorenzo Musetti and Stefanos Tsitsipas leading up to his French Open semi-final debut, but as the 20-year-old began to cramp up in the third set, Djokovic steamrolled his unfortunate opponent in three hours and 23 minutes.

The Serbian had already propelled himself into the ascendancy with a break in the third game of the match, and Alcaraz failed to take any of his four break point opportunities in an early setback.

However, Alcaraz began to land his deft drop shots more often than not as the second set progressed, having already been broken while serving for the set and wasting three set points on the Djokovic serve.

The Spaniard refused to let those missed chances affect him as he broke to love in the 12th game to level the match, but the wheels came off for Alcaraz early in the third set, as he forfeited his second service game to receive treatment for cramp.

Alcaraz battled on, but the world number one's movement was heavily restricted, as he won just two more points on his own serve to fall 2-1 down before a similar story befell him in the fourth set.

Casper Ruud reacts at the French Open on June 9, 2023© Reuters

After saving two break points off the bat, a ruthless Djokovic took full advantage of an incapacitated Alcaraz, winning five games in a row and closing out a four-set triumph to reach his 34th Grand Slam final.

Following Djokovic's triumph, Ruud and Zverev prepared to meet for the fifth time on the ATP Tour one year on from the latter's horrific ankle injury in his 2022 French Open semi-final against Rafael Nadal.

The German memorably left the court in a wheelchair after tearing his ligaments, but there was to be no magical redemption story for Zverev, as Ruud took the match by the scruff of the neck to win in straight sets in just over two hours.

With both men struggling to settle early doors, there were three breaks in the opening four games - two of which went to Ruud - and the Norwegian began to find his rhythm to establish an early advantage.

Zverev found himself 40-0 up on Ruud's serve in the fourth game of the second set, but the latter impressively saved all three break points and broke to love in the seventh to edge ever closer to back-to-back Roland-Garros finals.

As Ruud continued to dictate play with his ferocious forehand, world number 22 Zverev lost his way in the third set, winning a mere six points behind his first serve as Ruud capped off a brilliant win with a bagel.

Before Djokovic and Ruud butt heads in the men's singles final, defending women's champion Iga Swiatek will battle world number 43 Karolina Muchova in the women's showpiece match on Saturday.

ID:515938:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:collect5497:No Data Analysis info

Click here for more stories about Iga Swiatek

Collect / Create New Data
Share this article now:
Carlos Alcaraz in action at the French Open on June 2, 2023
Read Next:
French Open roundup: Alcaraz sets up Djokovic tie, Sabalenka eases through
rhs 2.0
Today's games header

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sports Mole provides in-depth previews and predictions for every match from the biggest leagues and competitions in world football.
Argentina's Lionel Messi kisses the World Cup trophy after collecting the Golden Ball award on December 18, 2022Sign up for our FREE daily preview newsletter direct to your inbox!