Header Ban

Alexander Zverev reaches his fourth consecutive French Open semifinal as trial proceeds

PARIS (AP) — Alexander Zverev beat Alex de Minaur 6-4, 7-6 (5), 6-4 on Wednesday night to reach the French Open semifinals for the fourth year in a row.

Zverev extended his current winning streak to 11 matches, including a title on clay at the Italian Open last month, and his victory over the 11th-seeded de Minaur at Court Philippe Chatrier moves him into a matchup against two-time Roland Garros runner-up Casper Ruud on Friday.

The fourth-seeded Zverev is competing in Paris as a court proceeding continues in his home country of Germany, connected to accusations of physical abuse by a former girlfriend of his.

Zverev said he never thought it was a possibility he wouldn’t be able to play in the French Open because of the court case.

“No, they made it very clear from the beginning that I don’t have to be there. I think everything is going accordingly. Everything is going OK from my side and from my point of view,” he said. “There’s nothing else to say.”

The other men’s semifinal Friday is No. 2 Jannik Sinner, who won the Australian Open in January, against No. 3 Carlos Alcaraz, who owns two major trophies. None of the four men left in the bracket has ever won the French Open, and this will be the first title match in Paris since 2004 without at least one of Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic or Roger Federer.

The women’s semifinals Thursday are No. 1 Iga Swiatek vs. No. 3 Coco Gauff, followed by No. 12 Jasmine Paolini vs. 17-year-old Mirra Andreeva.

Djokovic was the defending men’s champion but withdrew from the tournament on Tuesday because of an injured right knee, allowing the man he was supposed to play in the quarterfinals, Ruud, to advance.

Djokovic will be replaced by Sinner at No. 1 in the ATP rankings on Monday.

Zverev is trying to win his first Grand Slam title. So is No. 7 Ruud, who lost in the finals at Roland Garros in 2022 (to Nadal) and 2023 (to Djokovic) and at the U.S. Open in 2022 (to Alcaraz).

“I’m happy to be in another semifinal,” said Zverev, who is 0-3 at that stage in Paris. “Hopefully, I can win one.”

He lost to Dominic Thiem in the final of the 2020 U.S. Open and won a gold medal in singles at the Tokyo Olympics three years ago.

After eliminating 14-time champion Nadal in the first round, Zverev was coming off a pair of five-setters in the third and fourth rounds. This victory was far less complicated, although it could have been far more difficult than it was: de Minaur was one point from tying things at a set apiece while Zverev served down 6-5 in the second.

But Zverev fought that off. In the ensuing tiebreaker, de Minaur pulled out to a 4-0 lead, before Zverev collected seven of the next eight points.

The third set appeared to shift Zverev’s way for good when de Minaur double-faulted to get broken and fall behind 4-2. When Zverev served for the victory at 5-3, however, de Minaur used a delicate drop volley to break and extend the match. It wouldn’t last much longer, because Zverev broke right back to end it.

All in all, it was not a particularly clean match. They combined for more than twice as many unforced errors (101) as winners (48).

“Had my chances. Probably should have taken that second set,” de Minaur said after the end of his best run at the French Open. “I left my heart out there. Did everything I could.”


AP tennis: https://ift.tt/KLb0Iqn

Adblock test (Why?)

No comments

Powered by Blogger.