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Roland-Garros: Rampant Ruud a finalist again after semi-final rout of Zverev in one-sided affair

Casper Ruud defeated Alexander Zverev 6-3, 6-4, 6-0 to make his second consecutive Roland-Garros final. He will face Novak Djokovic for the title on Sunday

Ruud, Roland-Garros, 2023 Ruud, Roland-Garros, 2023 © Michael Baucher / Panoramic
French Open •Semi-final • completed
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Casper Ruud was professionalism personified went he took to Court Philippe-Chatrier for his semi-final against Alexander Zverev, as he defeated the German 6-3, 6-4, 6-0 to reach back-to-back finals at Roland-Garros.

After all the heavy-metal drama of the afternoon’s semi-final, the second semi-final turned out to be a somewhat tepid affair.

Imperious throughout, the Norwegian was on a mission from the first ball to the last as he ran away with the match against an opponent who seemed as though he had exhausted the last of his resources just getting to the final four.

Ruud dominant throughout Roland-Garros semi-final

Ruud broke Zverev at the first time of asking, which heavily set the tone for the rest of the match. That single break was enough for the world No. 4 as the rest of that set went on serve, with Ruud comfortably taking it 6-3.

Zverev showed the best of his fighting quality early in the second set, and at one point it looked as though this semi-final was turning into the contest many had hoped it would be.

The German generated three break points by rushing Ruud on his serve, navigating his way to 0-40. The Norwegian responded in ice-cool fashion, however, winning six straight points to save all three consecutive break points, hold serve, and then apply the pressure straight back onto his opponent.

Zverev’s resistance soon broke after that, when Ruud broke to love in the seventh game of the second set with an impressive step up in quality.

That dynamic continued into the third as Ruud broke again in the opening game of what turned out to be the final set of the evening.

“Let’s hope third time’s the charm.”

Casper Ruud on his third Grand Slam final

From there, last year’s Roland-Garros runner-up never looked back, racing to the finish line to take the third by six games to love.

“I just went out there and tried to play without too many feelings, without thinking too much, you know”, Ruud said in his on-court interview.

“I’m trying to play without pressure. Not thinking too much, not playing with too much emotion, if that makes sense.

“I didn’t come into Roland-Garros thinking I was the favourite to reach the final. Not at all. I was trying to think one match at a time.

“Here we are, two weeks later. It’s been two very fun weeks here in Paris. Just as fun as last year.

“Let’s hope third time’s the charm.”

Roland-Garros run an impressive feat for Zverev

Once the disappointment of this match has lifted, Zverev will look back with pride at what has been a surprisingly successful tournament for the German, just one year on from his horrific ankle injury that ruled him out for half a year.

This semi-final was only ever going one way, however, as Ruud stamped his authority on proceedings from the start.

Finalist in Paris last year, Ruud will be hoping to go one further this time around and take the title. But the size of the task that awaits the Norwegian is massive.

He will play Djokovic on Sunday for the chance to win his first Grand Slam title, while the Serb is going for his 23rd.

It is clear who the heavy favourite will be. But Ruud will be drawing on all the clay-court expertise he has in a hope to create a big story on Sunday.

Whatever the outcome, it should hopefully be a closer contest than tonight’s semi-final.

Paris (Grand Slam), other semi-final result (Stade Roland-Garros, clay, EUR 49.600.000):

  • Novak Djokovic beat Carlos Alcaraz (1): 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1

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