Posted by Timige, On 10 Jun, 2023 | Updated On 13 Jun, 2023 No Comments »
Tennis superstar Novak Djokovic is one win away from a record 23rd men’s major title after moving into the French Open final by beating Carlos Alcaraz in a contest ruined by cramps for the Spaniard.
With an enthralling match delicately poised at one set each, Alcaraz pulled up early in the third with the issue.
He twice carried on after treatment but Serbia’s Djokovic took full advantage to run away with a 6-3 5-7 6-1 6-1 win.
Djokovic will face Casper Ruud, who beat Alexander Zverev, on Sunday.
Norwegian fourth seed Ruud, who lost to Rafael Nadal in last year’s final, won 6-3 6-4 6-0 against 22nd seed Zverev.
The 26-year-old German was back in the semi-finals after suffering a serious ankle injury on court at the same stage 12 months ago, but was outclassed by Ruud, 24, in a straightforward victory.
Ruud will aim to win his first major title at the third attempt, having also lost to Alcaraz in last year’s US Open final.
Coincidentally, before Zverev’s return to the last four, this year’s opening semi-final was also cut short by a physical issue – although thankfully top seed Alcaraz’s problem was not of the same gravity as the German’s injury which kept him out for several months.
But it was enough to spoil an encounter which was blossoming into a classic.
“First and foremost I have to say tough luck to Carlos,” Djokovic said in his on-court interview.
“At this level the last thing you want is cramps and physical problems. I feel for him, I feel sorry, I hope he can recover and come back pretty soon.
“He knows how young he is, he’s got plenty of time ahead of him and he will win this tournament many times.”
Alcaraz, 20, hit a forehand into the net on Djokovic’s second match point, bowing his head as he trudged to the net, where the third seed waited to console his younger opponent.
Djokovic applauded Alcaraz off the court along with the crowd, but only after the two-time champion received some boos as he celebrated reaching a record-extending 34th Grand Slam men’s final by pointing to the sky.
The mood turned more celebratory as Djokovic took the post-match microphone, with fans chanting the former world number one’s name.
“It is tough for him not knowing whether to retire or finish the match but congratulations to him for showing fighting spirit and hanging in,” Djokovic added.
“I just tried to stay focused, stay present and not think too much about what was happening on the opposite side of the net.”
Source: 234 Sports Ng
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