Zverev defeats ailing Ruud to set up Alcaraz final at the French Open

Alexander Zverev exacted revenge on Casper Ruud at the French Open on Friday to reach his second Grand Slam final and first since 2020, with Carlos Alcaraz standing between him and the title.

Fourth seed Zverev, who had lost in the semi-finals at Roland Garros in each of the past three years, fought back to beat Ruud 2-6, 6-2, 6-4, 6-2 in a repeat of their last-four clash 12 months ago.

Zverev won just seven games when the pair met in the 2023 semis and a similar story was on the cards after Ruud cruised through the opening set.

But the German raised his game, reaching his first French Open final and keeping his hopes of a maiden Grand Slam title alive.

Zverev holds a career 5-4 winning record against Alcaraz, including a victory in their only previous Roland Garros meeting in the 2022 quarter-finals.

Alcaraz earlier battled past incoming world number one Jannik Sinner in five sets, 2-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, to reach the French Open final and continue his bid for a third Grand Slam title.

"It's one of the toughest matches I've played for sure," said Alcaraz.

"The toughest I've played in my short career have been against Jannik. I hope to play many, many more like this."

"You have to find the joy in suffering," the Spaniard added.

Alcaraz has won both of his two previous major finals – at Wimbledon last year and the 2022 US Open. Victory on Sunday would see him head to the Australian Open next January seeking a career Grand Slam.

Yet the momentum was quickly back with Sinner.

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