The Norwegian Casper Ruud, world number four, qualified for his second consecutive final at Roland-Garros at the expense of the German Alexander Zverev, former world number 2 today 27ewhich he dominated 6-3, 6-4, 6-0 in 2 h 09 min, Friday June 9.
In the final on Sunday, he will face Novak Djokovic, who will be looking to become the first man to land a 23e Grand Slam title. The 36-year-old Serbian emerged 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 in a clash against world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz, who was beset by cramps in the final two sets.
At 24, Casper Ruud will play his third Grand Slam final, after those of Roland-Garros and the US Open in 2022, lost respectively against Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz. A year ago, he was outclassed 6-3, 6-3, 6-0 by Nadal. “I didn’t come thinking that I was favorite to go to the final, not at all”, admitted the Scandinavian player, who had a very average first part of the season before Roland-Garros. However, there was better on clay, with a title in Estoril in April and a semi-final at the Masters 1000 in Rome just before the Grand Slam in Paris.
“Smile as much as I can”
“Here, two weeks later, I’m back in the final. I hope the third will be the right one! Last year it was Rafa, this time it’s Novak… I won’t be the favourite, so I’ll try to play without too many emotions, enjoy it, smile as much as I can, I know it will be difficult”he added.
Alexander Zverev was enjoying a renaissance at Roland-Garros so far, a year after seriously injuring his right ankle in the semi-final against Nadal, but the 26-year-old German, who started the match with an imposing bandage around the left thigh, never seemed able to really threaten his opponent. He even collapsed completely in the third set, notably missing a series of smashes.
As if at the end of his tether, he committed 37 unforced errors in three sets, against 31 winning points. Casper Ruud’s record is positive with 25 winners for 13 unforced errors. Zverev was playing his sixth Grand Slam semi-final, but he only passed the milestone once, at the US Open, in 2020. He then lost in the final against Dominic Thiem.