Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic during his semifinal match against Spain's Carlos Alcaraz at the French Open in Paris, June 9, 2023.
Paris – Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic defeated Roland Garros in the semifinals 6:3, 5:7, 6:1 and 6:1 of the injured Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz. In Sunday's final against Casper Ruud from Norway, who defeated Alexander Zverev from Germany 6:3, 6:4 and 6:0, he will play for a record 23rd Grand Slam title and a return to the position of world number one, from which he can oust today's opponent.
Djokovic and Alcaraz played great and balanced tennis in the first two sets. Alcaraz flashed a fantastic backhand shot in the second set, Djokovic was able to cope with the injured wrist, which he had treated in the second set.
However, the end of the expected match between the two biggest stars of today was ultimately a disappointment for the fans. At 1:1 in the third set, Alcaraz suffered convulsions from which he never recovered and lost his chance for a second Grand Slam title after last year's triumph at the US Open.
Although the 20-year-old Spaniard immediately took time for treatment, even knowing that due to timing other than what the rules allow, he would lose his serve, but that did not help either. Djokovic took the lead 2:1 and didn't give his opponent a chance.
“It was really difficult for me and I'm terribly disappointed. The first two sets were very demanding and I suddenly got cramps. But not only in my legs , but also in the hands, just in the whole body,” Alcaraz said.
“He was just unlucky, in a match like this you don't want you to get cramps. I guess it was difficult for him to decide after that whether to give up the match or play until the end. He's a fighter and he deserves respect for that,” said Djokovic.
Alcaraz had visible difficulties in the rest of the match and won another point only at 0:5 in the fourth set. “I sympathize with him, I feel sorry for him. I hope he will be fine soon. But he is young and will surely win many more titles here,” said Djokovic.
The 36-year-old Serbian will play in the final at Roland Garros for the seventh time , he dominated the tournament in 2016 and 2021. In Sunday's final, he can follow up on his triumph from this year's Australian Open and become independent at the head of the historical ranking according to the number of Grand Slam titles.
He currently shares the record with Spaniard Rafael Nadal. The defending champion and the owner of a record 14 triumphs from the French Open ended the season early due to prolonged hip problems and surgery and will not start in Paris.
Twenty-four-year-old Ruud is waiting for the third Grand Slam final in his career. He has lost both so far – he was not good enough for Nadal in Paris last year and lost to Alcaraz at the US Open.
Ruud had the upper hand against Zverev from the start and confirmed the role of the tournament's top four. He has faced Djokovic four times so far and has not even played a set with him. Twenty-six-year-old Zverev did not reach his second Grand Slam final and ended up in the semifinals at the French Open for the third time in a row.
French Open tennis tournament in Paris
(clay, subsidy 49.6 million euros )
Singles – semi-finals:
Djokovic (3-Serb.) – Alcaraz (1-Sp.) 6:3 , 5:7, 6:1, 6:1, Ruud (4-Nor.) – A. Zverev (22-German) 6:3, 6:4, 6:0.
Doubles – semi-finals:
Sciahbasi, Vulpitta (It.) – Hrazdil, Camus (Czech Republic/Austria) 7:5, 7:6 (9:7).