Alcaraz Sets Djokovic Blockbuster French Open SF; Ruud v Rune Rematch

by Staff | June 6th, 2023, 8:48 pm

The dream semifinal is set between Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz. For just the second time, the two will meet this Friday at the French Open.

Earlier today, Djokovic dropped the opener and then clawed out the second before pulling away from Karen Khachanov 4-6, 7-6(0), 6-2, 6-4.

Khachanov was nearly untouchable on serve in the first as Djokovic looked low on energy dropping his first set of the event. But Serb began find the range with his serve in the second and despite once again failing to break the Russian, he dominated in the break blanking the big man.

From there, it was all Djokovic who improved to 9-1 against Khachanov to reach his 12th French semifinal and 45th final four at a Slam.

“I think he was the better player for most of the [first] two sets,” said Djokovic on court. “I was struggling to find my rhythm. I made a lot of unforced errors and came into the match quite slow, quite sluggish. But I played the perfect [second-set] tie-break, really, and from that moment I played a couple of levels higher than I did at the beginning.

“A little bit of a scare towards the end of the fourth set, but I managed to win eight points in a row to finish it off. It’s a big fight. It’s something that you expect in the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam. You’re not going to have your victories handed over to you. You’ve got to earn them, so I’m just glad to overcome the big challenge of today.”

Djokovic will take a 19-match win streak in Slams in a super showdown against a hot-handed Alcaraz.

The 20-year-old Spaniard hammered Stefanos Tsitsipas then held on for a 6-2, 6-1, 7-6(7-5) win.

“I believe in myself all the time. I would say that’s the most important thing — not only for me, I would say for everyone, believing in yourself,” Alcaraz said. “I always think that I’m going to play these kind of matches in this level. I would say that’s the key of everything… with a joy. That’s the key.”

Alcaraz, playing his second straight French semifinal, jumped all over the Greek 6-2, 6-1, 5-2 before Tsitsipas got up and mounted a challenge. But it was too little, too late.

“I lost my focus a little bit at the end of the third set,” Alcaraz said. “I had a couple of match points on the return, serving for the match. He started to play, I would say, better. But of course I lost my focus a little bit.

“I was in trouble. I’m really happy to overcome that problem, still playing a great level, believing in myself, believing that I was going to win the third set. But of course it was really tough at the end of the match.”

Alcaraz reaches his first French semifinal he’ll take a 12-match Slam win streak and a 1-0 mark against Djokovic into Friday.

“This match is one everyone wanted to watch. I would say it’s going to be a really good match to play and to watch as well,” Alcaraz said looking ahead. “I really wanted to play this match as well. I always say that if you want to be the best you have to beat the best. Novak Djokovic right now is one of the best players in the world, so it’s going to be a really tough challenge for me. But I’m really looking forward to that match, playing such a great level.”

Tomorrow, No. 4 Casper Ruud collides with No. 6 Holger Rune in the quarters for a second straight year, Ruud downed the Dane last year but Rune returned the favor last month in Rome. Ruud leads Rune 4-1.

And No. 22 Alexander Zverev clashes with Tomas Martin Etcheverry in a first-time tour-level collision. Etcheverry has never reached this stage at a Slam while Zverev seeks to return to the last four in Paris for a third straight year.

Court Philippe-CHATRIER – Début à 11h00
Beatriz HADDAD MAIA (BRA)[14] contre Ons JABEUR (TUN)[7]

Pas avant 12h30
Iga SWIATEK (POL)[1] contre Coco GAUFF (USA)[6]

Pas avant 15h00
Alexander ZVEREV (GER)[22] contre Tomas Martin ETCHEVERRY (ARG)

Pas avant 20h15
4 SM Q Holger RUNE (DEN)[6] contre Casper RUUD (NOR)[4]

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8 Comments for Alcaraz Sets Djokovic Blockbuster French Open SF; Ruud v Rune Rematch

Van Persie Says:

Alcaraz is the fave in the semis, but Nole is not Tsitsipas!
I am looking forward to this match.

Did not expect Nole to reach semis at this RG, so I am enjoying this much without the pressure.

chrisford1 Says:

Everyone loves the sports tale of the wily veteran – I have Alcaraz winning the title if he beats Djokovic, but I give Djokovic a better chance than anyone Alcaraz faces in the final. But still, reality intrudes….Carlos made Tsitispas look slow and average, and Tsitsipas is not that!!
And if you hunger for the saga of the wily veteran winning it all – and aren’t a Djokovic fan, sorry, no other wily great champ vets around! Maybe next year…as Nadal does his farewell tour, you might see him go far in some big event. But not 2023. No chances anymore for a vet other than Djokovic. Murray, Wawrinka, Thiem are done. 3 remaining Slams are either going to be Novak or Some-Young-Guy!
Likely the Some-Young-Guy each time!!

Giles Says:

Same old same old. Every time the faker loses a set or is in danger of losing a set he calls for a mto. NEver fails. Cheater or what??? Sheeeesh!

Van Persie Says:


I will enjoy the semis, and hope that Nole will play without too much pressure. He has better chances at Wimbledon. I would love to see him winning one more GS :)

Van Persie Says:

Alcaraz made Tsitsipas look slow, as he was chasing very good after Tsitsi’s BH, which is beautiful, but not very efficient.
Alcaraz will not get the same from Djokovic. I am sure it will be a looong match.:D

chrisford1 Says:

VP – Enjoy the semi. All us Novak fans will, win or lose. I don’t think many people will feel cheated and shortchanged that they meet in the Semis instead of the Finals. Happened with Djokovic in the past playing some of his best tennis ever against Andy. Roger, and Rafa in earlier rounds.

zed Says:

On this surface and with the conditions forecast to remain windy I am by no means certain of Novak’s victory but if anyone can overcome, Novak can.

Even if he doesn’t get past Carlos, I console myself knowing Wimbeldon is only a short time away and who can beat Novak there?

I think we are in the penultimate year, end of 2024 I think will be when Novak says “enough”. I could be wrong, maybe he’ll want to squeeze out just one more Aus Open, just one more Wimbeldon, in 2025.

However if I were in his shoes and had already achieved more than anyone before him and more than anyone will ever achieve ever again, I think I’d move on to the next phase of life. Then again, I’m not one of the greatest, probably THE greatest, athletes of all time and he is.

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