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Zverev to meet Ruud in French Open semi-finals

Updated: 2024-06-06 09:17
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Germany's Alexander Zverev celebrates after winning his quarter final match against Australia's Alex De Minaur at French Open in Roland Garros, Paris, France June 5, 2024. [Photo/Agencies]

PARIS - Alexander Zverev advanced to his fourth successive French Open semi-final with a 6-4, 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 win over Australian 11th seed Alex de Minaur on Wednesday.

Fourth seed Zverev will play Casper Ruud for a place in Sunday's final after the Norwegian received a walkover following Novak Djokovic's injury-enforced withdrawal.

Germany's Zverev is on an 11-match winning streak after clinching the Rome title last month, but he has never reached the final at Roland Garros.

"I'm happy to be in another semi-final. Hopefully I can win one," said Zverev, who defeated 14-time champion Rafael Nadal in the first round of this year's tournament.

Zverev was defeated by Ruud in straight sets in the semi-finals of the French Open in 2023.

After needing five sets in each of his previous two rounds, Zverev polished off De Minaur inside three hours.

He saved a set point on his serve at 5-6 in the second set and then won a 39-shot rally to bring up one of his own in the tie-break, which he sealed at the first opportunity.

"Everybody in the press keeps asking me what I do for recovery and the answer is very simple -- you don't recover after matches, you recover in the off-season," said Zverev.

"I have the mindset you have to work harder than everyone else to be the best player. I like to work to my absolute limit. If I do that then playing five sets all of a sudden is not that difficult."

A serious ankle injury dashed Zverev's hopes in his 2022 semi-final against Nadal as he was forced to retire.

The year before he lost at the same stage in five sets to Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Zverev is playing under the shadow of an ongoing trial in Berlin over allegations of assaulting an ex-girlfriend.

De Minaur's bid to make a first Grand Slam semi-final ended with an eighth defeat in 10 meetings with Zverev.

"I'm extremely proud of my efforts through the two weeks. Even today I think I put up a hell of a fight in difficult conditions against a quality opponent," said De Minaur, playing just his second quarter-final at a major.

De Minaur rued letting slip a 4-0 lead in the tie-break in the second set as his hopes of becoming the first Australian man to make the last four in Paris since Pat Rafter in 1997 fizzled out.

"I had my opportunities. Should have probably taken the second set and I think we would have been in for a proper battle. I left my heart out there, I did everything I could. It wasn't good enough."


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