Alexandre Zverev arranges Roland Garros title clash vs. Carlos Alcaraz

Alexander Zverev will play in his second Major final at 27

by Jovica Ilic
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Alexandre Zverev arranges Roland Garros title clash vs. Carlos Alcaraz
© Clive Brunskill / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Competing at his ninth Roland Garros, Alexander Zverev broke new ground and advanced into the title clash, embracing his second Major final at 27! The German faced Casper Ruud in the semi-final and notched a 2-6, 6-2, 6-4, 6-2 victory in two hours and 35 minutes on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

Casper struggled with stomach issues since the closing stages of the opening set, winning it but struggling for the rest of the duel, especially in sets two and four. Thus, Zverev became the second German in the Roland Garros final in the Open era after Michael Stich in 1996, hoping to become the first champion against Carlos Alcaraz on Sunday.

Alexander shortened the ball toss in comparison to the previous years, and it's paying dividends. The German fired 19 aces against the Norwegian and made the difference with his first serve, taking 86% of the points after landing it in.

Alexander Zverev & Casper Ruud, Roland Garros 2024© Tim Goode / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

Zverev also played better behind the second serve, dropping 20 points in his games and losing serve two times in the opening set.

Ruud lost 41% of the points in his games and gave serve away five times in sets two, three and four while taking only 11 points on the return! Alexander landed 54 winners and 24 unforced errors. Despite the issues, Casper added 34 direct points and 25 mistakes, fighting hard but taking only one set.

The German grabbed 20 points more in the shortest range up to four strokes, earning his win in that segment after a tighter gap in the mid-range and most extended exchanges. Ruud sprayed a backhand error in the first game of the encounter and faced a break point.

Alexander sprayed it with a forehand error and faced issues behind the initial shot in the second game. He missed a backhand and experienced a break at love, sending his rival into an early advantage.

Alexander Zverev, Roland Garros 2024© Tim Goode / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

Alexander Zverev defeated Casper Ruud in straight sets in the Roland Garros semi-final.

Casper fired a forehand winner in the third game, cementing the advantage and settling into a fine rhythm.

The Norwegian held at 30 in the fifth game for 4-1 before the German reduced the deficit with a forehand winner in the next one. Casper forced Alexander's mistake in the seventh game, producing a fine hold and extending the gap.

Ruud attacked on the return in the eighth game and landed a drop shot winner for two set points. Alexander missed a backhand on the first, falling 6-2 behind after 35 minutes. The German raised his level in the second set, providing four comfortable holds and keeping the pressure on his opponent, who started to struggle physically.

Zverev drew Ruud's mistake in the first game, securing a break and his first advantage. Alexander cemented the break in style, landing a service winner in game two and holding at love for 2-0.

Casper Ruud & Alexander Zverev, Roland Garros 2024© Clive Brunskill / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Casper sprayed a couple of game points in game three and experienced a break point.

Zverev missed it after a terrible volley at the net before holding at love a few minutes later for a 3-1 lead. Casper struggled behind the initial shot again in game five, placing a forehand wide and facing two break points.

The German cracked a backhand down the line winner on the second, delivering his second break and opening a 4-1 advantage. Alexander fired a service winner in the sixth game and served for the set at 5-2. The 4th seed held at 15 with a booming serve, leveling the overall score after an hour and 14 minutes.

Ruud held at 15 in the first game of the third set and faced a break point in the third game. Zverev sprayed it with a forehand error and missed a chance to move in front. Alexander held at love in game four for 2-2 and earned three break points in the next one with a backhand down the line winner.

Alexander Zverev, Roland Garros 2024© Dan Istitene / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Zverev converted the second with a forehand winner, moving in front and holding in the next one with a forehand winner for 4-2.

World no. 4 grabbed a hold at love with an ace in the eighth game and served for the set at 5-4. Alexander faced a break point and denied it with a service winner. The German seized a set point with a booming serve, opening two sets to love advantage after an hour and 58 minutes.

Zverev served well in the fourth set and kept the pressure on Ruud. Alexander forced Casper's mistake in the first game for an early advantage and a boost. The German held at love in game two with a service winner, moving closer to the finish line.

Alexander served well in games four and six, landing an ace and forging a 4-2 advantage. Zverev painted a backhand down the line winner in the seventh game, securing another break and serving for the victory at 5-2. The German landed an ace in the eighth game, providing a fine hold and moving into the title clash.

Roland Garros Carlos Alcaraz Alexander Zverev
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