Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic, joint favorites for the final victory at Roland Garros, will face each other in the semi-finals, and this meeting is expected to be epic.
Carlos Alcaraz (noOh 1 worldwide) and Novak Djokovic (noOh 3) Friday will face off in a historic showdown after both players won the quarter-finals on Tuesday (June 6). “It’s a shock we’ve been waiting for as tennis fans,” he said. Jim Courier, two-time Roland-Garros winner, on Tennis Channel. “They haven’t been able to play in the same tournaments lately due to injuries and restrictions, but they are here and we are ready on Friday afternoon. It will be something very special.”
Djokovic and Alcaraz met only once, as the Spaniard knocked out the Serb in the semi-finals of the 2022 Madrid Championship. Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals, becoming the first man to eliminate both giants in the same clay court tournament.
On Tuesday, Djokovic, 36, started by losing the first set against the Russian Karen Khachanov (noOh 11 in the world) before recovering and winning the next three sets (4-6, 77-606-2, 6-4).
Then Alcaraz, 20, offered a beating Stefanos Tsitsipas (noOh 5 in the world), Djokovic runner-up in 2021. The Spaniard literally suffocated his opponent, packing the match in three sets (6-2, 6-1, 7)7-65). Alcaraz won seven consecutive matches between the second and third groups. Tsitsipas saved three match points in the third set before recovering to force a tiebreak, where he saved two more before Alcaraz won with a serve and a volley.
It is the third year in a row that the iconic match will not be played in the final. In 2021, Nadal and Djokovic faced off in the semifinals, where Djokovic won to end Nadal’s 35-match winning streak. In 2022, Nadal and Djokovic met in the quarterfinals, and Nadal later won fourteenH The address is at Roland-Garros. This time, Djokovic could replace Alcaraz at the top of the ATP rankings with 23 wins.H A major address in Paris. Alcaraz is looking for his second major title after winning the US Open last September. “And let’s be honest, the winner of this match will win the championship,” he said. Patrick McEnroe on his podcast “Holding Court” shortly after Alcaraz’s victory over Tsitsipas.
Facing Khachanov, Djokovic had no break point in the first two sets, but elevated his game from a second-set tiebreaker on Court Philippe Chatrier to win in 3 hours and 38 minutes.
“I think he was the best player for most of the first two sets,” Djokovic said during his on-court interview. “I struggled to find my rhythm. I made a lot of unintentional mistakes and got into the game too slowly, too slowly. But I played a perfect break and since then I’ve played several levels higher than I did in the beginning. I freaked out a bit towards the end of the fourth set, but managed to win eight straight points.” “To finish it. It was a great fight. That’s the level you expect in a Grand Slam quarter-final. Victories don’t come to you. You have to earn them, so I’m happy to take on the big challenge today.”
While the Alcaraz-Djokovic final in Rome was announced last month, neither player has gone that far. Alcaraz surprised Fabian Marzan (noOh 135 worldwide), at 32H Finals, which is undoubtedly the biggest surprise this year. Djokovic lost to finalist Ron in the quarter-finals (6-2, 4-6, 6-2).
Rafael Nadal’s withdrawal has opened up the competition in a big way this yearOh 15th in the world having won 14 times Roland Garros. The Spanish champion also announced that 2024 will be his last season on the circuit. Without Nadal at Roland Garros, someone else will lift the trophy on June 11th.
“The absence of Rafa from the draw makes the tournament more open,” Jim Courier said before the tournament. “We don’t know what level Rafa would have reached had he been healthy enough to take the chance, but he’s still Rafa and there’s a clear bullying factor.”
Translated article from the American magazine Forbes – Author: Adam Zagoria
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