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French Open roundup: Alcaraz sets up Djokovic tie, Sabalenka eases through

French Open roundup: Alcaraz sets up Djokovic tie, Sabalenka eases through
© Reuters
Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic set up a tantalising French Open semi-final, while Aryna Sabalenka progresses in straight sets.

Carlos Alcaraz will meet Novak Djokovic in the French Open semi-finals thanks to a three-set win over Stefanos Tsitsipas, whose late fightback was in vain on Tuesday night.

The world number one took two hours and 12 minutes to sink the Greek fifth seed 6-2 6-1 7-6[5], although he was forced to push through a third-set wobble after previously looking imperious on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

As unforced errors and mistakes on serve all contributed to Tsitsipas's poor start, Alcaraz needed no second invitation to capitalise and did not face a single break point in the opening two sets.

With Alcaraz two sets and a break up, the writing was seemingly on the wall for Tsitsipas, but the Spaniard missed two match points in the eighth game of the third set and was then broken for the first time while serving for the match.

After saving another match point, Tsitsipas took Alcaraz to an unexpected tie-breaker, but the 20-year-old's powerful forehand came to the fore as he belatedly progressed on his sixth match point.

Novak Djokovic in action at the French Open on June 2, 2023© Reuters

Alcaraz's reward will be a mouthwatering showdown with Djokovic, who overcame a slow start to defeat Russia's Karen Khachanov 4-6 7-6[0] 6-2 6-4 earlier in the day.

Not for the first time at Roland-Garros, Djokovic failed to explode out of the blocks in the early exchanges, and the Serbian lost a set for the first time at the 2023 tournament following four straight-sets triumphs.

Khachanov squandered four break points in the fifth game but made no mistake on his next attempt, and while Djokovic managed to avoid the double break - saving two set points - Khachanov saw out a hold to 15 to take the opener.

Neither man would fashion a single break opportunity in a cagey second set, but a whitewash of a tie-break from Djokovic sparked an upturn in fortunes for the world number three, who clinched the double break in the third set as he rediscovered his rhythm.

Despite posting three of his five double faults on the day in the final set, Djokovic got over the line with 57 winners compared to Khachanov's 38 to reach the French Open semi-finals for the 12th time.

Aryna Sabalenka reacts at the French Open on June 4, 2023© Reuters

In the women's quarter-finals, Elina Svitolina's magical run was brought to an end by second seed Aryna Sabalenka, who prevailed 6-4 6-4 with one hour and 36 minutes on the clock.

The US Open champion was broken early in the second set as Svitolina raced into a 2-0 lead, but she kept her composure to string together a four-game winning sequence, firing 30 winners compared to a mere seven for her Ukrainian counterpart.

Sabalenka will pit her wits against Karolina Muchova in both players' maiden Roland-Garros semi-final thanks to the Czech's 7-5 6-2 victory over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

The world number 43 won 64% of points behind her second serve and made just one double fault compared to five for Pavlyuchenkova, who sits 290 places lower than her at world number 333.

Wednesday's action begins with Beatriz Haddad Maia taking on Ons Jabeur before an intriguing battle between Iga Swiatek and Coco Gauff, while Alexander Zverev and Tomas Etcheverry will begin the men's action ahead of a late-night Scandinavian showdown between Casper Ruud and Holger Rune.

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Holger Rune reacts at the French Open on June 5, 2023
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