Zverev hopes to be fourth time lucky in French Open semifinals

The German star, who suffered a horrific injury during the 2022 French Open semifinal against Nadal, is now on an 11-match winning streak

By AFP

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Germany's Alexander Zverev celebrates after winning his quarterfinal match against Australia's Alex De Minaur. — AFP
Germany's Alexander Zverev celebrates after winning his quarterfinal match against Australia's Alex De Minaur. — AFP

Published: Thu 6 Jun 2024, 12:36 PM

Alexander Zverev is looking forward to reaching his first French Open final after advancing to his fourth successive semifinal in Paris 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 semifinal. 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 semifinals 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 semifinal 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 semifinal 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 quarterfinal 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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