Ruud Sets Up Djokovic Final At Roland Garros After Outclassing Zverev

Ruud Sets Up Djokovic Final At Roland Garros After Outclassing Zverev

by Zachary Wimer

The 2023 Roland Garros finalists are known and Casper Ruud will be one of them after beating Alexander Zverev.

A few minutes before they stepped onto the Court Philippe-Chatrier, the two protagonists of the second men's semifinal witnessed how Carlos Alcaraz's hopes were shattered by cramps, and how Novak Djokovic used his experience to reach the final.

Both know how it feels to play a Grand Slam final, but none of the two knew how it feels to win it and so booking another spot was crucial to get at least close to that feeling. Previously, they met three times on the ATP Tour and Zverev was coming into their fourth meeting with a better record, leading H2H, 2-1.

But as both knew, that means nothing and Ruud showed it early on. He was dangerous almost always when his opponent served in the match and Zverev struggled. The Norwegian got two breaks in the opening set and it was enough for him to start the first set of the match on the same note as he ended his last match in Paris against Holger Rune.

Ruud won the opener 6-3, but already in the fourth game of the second set, he faced three break points. Saving all of them, the Norwegian got himself into the same situation in the seventh game, this time being on the receiving end of those break points.

And the fourth seed didn't miss. He used his first break point, marching ahead also in the second set, and after two comfortable holds of serve, winning the second set 6-4.

Zverev seemingly couldn't find any answer and the match was over for him even before he could respond in the third set. Ruud broke all of his serves in the third set and after two hours and 11 minutes, he won the match 6-3, 6-4, 6-0 to set up a final meeting with Novak Djokovic.

Seeing Rafael Nadal lift his 22nd Grand Slam title in the final that he contested last year in Paris, the Norwegian will play against another 22-time Grand Slam champion, but this time, he will want to stop the Serb from making history and become first man to win 23 majors.

"It’s gonna be tough. Last year was against Rafa. This year against Novak. What can you say? It’s 2 of the toughest in history so I’m gonna be the underdog, play without too many feelings, smile as much as I can. I know it will be tough."


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