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Tennis: Zverev in the French Open semifinals for the fourth time in a row

Tennis: Zverev in the French Open semifinals for the fourth time in a row

Alexander Zverev wins the quarterfinals of the French Open without much luster. Now a rested opponent awaits. In the mixed doubles, a German is already aiming for the title.

Alexander Zverev raised his victory fist to the audience and took a deep breath. The German tennis player has reached the semifinals of the French Open for the fourth time in a row on his title mission in Paris.

The 27-year-old won his quarter-final against Australian outsider Alex De Minaur 6-4, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 despite an average performance and is now only two wins away from his first Grand Slam tournament victory.

“I’m happy that I’m in a semi-final again. I hope I can win one,” said the Hamburg native with a smile in the winner’s interview. In the round of the best four, the Olympic champion will face Norwegian Casper Ruud on Friday, who benefited from defending champion Novak Djokovic’s withdrawal from the quarter-finals due to injury.

After two exhausting five-set matches against the Dane Holger Rune and the Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor, Zverev needed almost three hours on Court Philippe Chatrier before he converted his first match point.

In the professional era, only ten other players before him have reached the semifinals at the Stade Roland Garros four times in a row. Of the professionals still active, only the 24-time Grand Slam tournament winner Novak Djokovic, the Spanish clay court king Rafael Nadal, Great Britain’s tennis star Andy Murray and the Austrian Dominic Thiem managed to do this.

Many mistakes with the forehand

Zverev entered the match as the clear favorite, having won seven of the nine previous duels – including the only one on clay two years ago in Rome. But: “The big question for me is: how fit is Sascha Zverev?” said tennis icon Boris Becker on Eurosport in view of the recent hardships for the German number 1.

Zverev seemed to lack concentration at least in some phases of the match. Even after winning the first set, the world number four kept making mistakes, especially with his forehand, which the nimble defensive artist from Australia also skillfully provoked.

This was a warning at 5:6 and 40:40 in the second set because Zverev had taken too much time on his serve. But the Hamburg player survived this critical phase, as well as a 0:4 deficit in the tiebreak. In the end, he extended his impressive tiebreak record in Paris to 23:2. Afterwards, he put a finger to his ear and asked the audience for even more support.

In the third set, Zverev served to win the match at 5:3, but conceded a break. He then made the decision in the following return game.

Surprises for the ladies

In the women’s competition, two outsiders surprisingly completed the semi-finals. First, the Italian Jasmine Paolini celebrated the greatest success of her career with a 6:2, 4:6, 6:4 win against the former Wimbledon champion Jelena Rybakina from Kazakhstan. A little later, the 17-year-old Mirra Andrejewa caused an even bigger surprise.

The young Russian defeated the physically ailing world number two Aryna Sabalenka from Belarus 6:7 (5:7), 6:4, 6:4, making her the youngest semi-finalist at a Grand Slam tournament on clay since the Swiss Martina Hingis 27 years ago. Andrejewa will face Paolini in the underdog semi-final today. The second semi-final will see Polish world number one Iga Swiatek face US star Coco Gauff.

A German in the final

In the mixed competition, a German player is aiming for the title. Laura Siegemund won the semifinals alongside the Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin against Ulrikke Eikeri from Norway and Maximo Gonzalez from Argentina in the match tiebreak with 10:7. Desirae Krawczyk from the USA and Neal Skupski from Great Britain await in the final. “A Grand Slam final – that’s what everyone dreams of, no matter what competition. I think it’s great to play on such a stage,” said the 36-year-old Siegemund.

Source: Stern

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