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Alcaraz vs. Sinner: The French Open Semi-Final Everyone’s Watching

Alcaraz vs. Sinner

Carlos Alcaraz has called his French Open semi-final clash with Jannik Sinner the match “everybody wants to watch.”

The two highest-ranked players remaining in the men’s singles draw will face off following Novak Djokovic’s withdrawal.

Italy’s Sinner, poised to become the new world number one on Monday, is on a 12-match Grand Slam winning streak this year after capturing his first major title at the Australian Open in January.

“I love these kinds of matches. I love this kind of challenge, to have a really difficult battle against him,” said Spain’s Alcaraz. Their showdown on Court Philippe Chatrier is set to begin after 13:30 BST, followed by the second semi-final between Alexander Zverev and Casper Ruud.

No matter the outcome, a new French Open champion will lift the Coupe des Mousquetaires on Sunday. This will mark the first time since 2004 that the Roland Garros final will not feature one of the ‘Big Three’ – Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, or Djokovic.

‘The Best Player in the World’

Wimbledon winner Alcaraz and Australian Open champion Sinner have established themselves as potential heirs to the ‘Big Three’ with their recent Grand Slam victories.

Despite injury issues leading up to the French Open, both have reached the semi-finals with relative ease, each dropping just one set.

Alcaraz, the third seed and 2022 US Open champion, won their most recent encounter at Indian Wells, leveling their head-to-head record at 4-4. However, Sinner holds just one clay-court ATP Tour title compared to Alcaraz’s seven, suggesting the Spaniard’s readiness for French Open success.

Nevertheless, the 21-year-old Alcaraz anticipates a tough match against the 22-year-old Sinner.

“Everything he does, he does it perfectly,” Alcaraz said of Sinner. “He probably is one of the most difficult challenges we can face in tennis right now. I think he’s the best player in the world.”

The Battle of Tennis’ Nearly Men

Grand Slam success remains elusive for Zverev and Ruud, both still searching for their first major title.

Germany’s Zverev infamously lost the 2020 US Open final to Dominic Thiem after leading by two sets, and all three of his Paris semi-final appearances have ended in defeat.

Ruud, meanwhile, has lost in straight sets in the last two French Open finals to Nadal and Djokovic.

However, the Norwegian seventh seed defeated Zverev in last year’s semi-final and should be fresher for their rematch, having received a walkover in the quarter-finals due to Djokovic’s injury withdrawal.

Fourth seed Zverev has played almost 17 hours of tennis in his five matches, four more than Ruud.

“I’ve played a total of eight-and-a-half hours over the last three days so I need to recover,” said Zverev after his straight-set win over Alex de Minaur in the quarter-finals.

Zverev is competing in the French Open while a trial in Berlin concerning domestic abuse allegations against him is ongoing. The 27-year-old denies the claims.

Credit: BBC Sport

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