French Open day 10: Djokovic and Alcaraz through as Sabalenka wins grudge match

By Sports Desk June 06, 2023

Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz will face each other in a blockbuster French Open semi-final on Friday.

Djokovic had to battle from a set down to defeat Russian Karen Khachanov while Alcaraz produced a show under the lights in a 6-2 6-1 7-6 (5) victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Aryna Sabalenka continued her unbeaten grand slam run by beating Elina Svitolina 6-4 6-4 to set up a last-four clash with Karolina Muchova.

Picture of the dayTweet of the dayQuote of the dayShot of the dayStat of the dayInsulin row

Alexander Zverev revealed last year that he was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of three. The German is unhappy that he has not been allowed to inject himself with insulin on court in Paris, telling German reporters: “They said it looks weird when I do this on court. But this is not a clever take because, if I don’t do it, my life will be in danger.”

Fallen seeds

Men: Karen Khachanov (11)

Women: None

Who’s up next?

Defending champion Iga Swiatek takes on Coco Gauff in a repeat of last year’s final as the quarter-finals continue in Paris.

The winner of the clash will take on either seventh seed Ons Jabeur or Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia in the last four.

In the men’s draw, there is also a rematch, with Casper Ruud and Holger Rune doing battle again after their fiery encounter 12 months ago, while Alexander Zverev meets surprise package Tomas Etcheverry.

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    Tomas Machac upset Novak Djokovic as he captured the biggest win of his career to deny the Serbian a place in the Geneva Open final.

    Machac reached his first ATP Tour final with a 6-4, 0-6, 6-1 victory on Friday following a hard-fought contest.

    Djokovic had control of the first set, storming into a 4-1 lead, but Machac rallied to take the opening set.

    After receiving a medical time-out before the second set, Djokovic superbly won the second set without dropping a single game but faded in the decider.

    Djokovic won the opener in the third, but Machac came from behind to seal the win in two hours and seven minutes. He will face Casper Ruud or Flavio Cobolli in the final on Sunday. 

    Data Debrief: Final still out of Djokovic's reach

    Despite making a strong start to the Geneva Open, fitness problems seem to have caught up with Djokovic ahead of the French Open later this month. 

    He lost his second career match despite having won a set with a 6-0 scoreline (after Sam Querrey in the Paris Masters in 2012), and has failed to make a final in 2024.

  • Djokovic overcomes Griekspoor to reach Geneva Open semi-finals Djokovic overcomes Griekspoor to reach Geneva Open semi-finals

    Novak Djokovic beat Tallon Griekspoor in straight sets in the Geneva Open quarter-finals on Thursday, teeing up a last-four meeting with Tomas Machac.

    Djokovic was pushed all the way in an intriguing opener, Griekspoor generating three set points only to fail to convert any of them.   

    The world number one immediately punished Griekspoor's wastefulness by breaking at the end of a back-and-forth service game, then proceeded to serve the first set out in comfort.

    Griekspoor would not get a second chance to make a contest of it as Djokovic took full advantage of an early break in the second set, serving at 81 per cent and winning 92 per cent of points behind his first serve from there as he cruised to a 7-5 6-1 win.

    Data Debrief: Age just a number for Djokovic

    Having turned 37 on Wednesday, Djokovic is the oldest semi-finalist in Geneva Open history.

    Now 14-5 for the year, he is the strong favourite to claim his first title of 2024. Flavio Cobolli will face Sebastian Baez or Casper Ruud in the other semi-final.

  • Nadal to begin French Open campaign against Zverev Nadal to begin French Open campaign against Zverev

    Rafael Nadal will begin his French Open campaign against fourth seed Alexander Zverev, as the 14-time champion approaches what will likely be his final tournament at Roland-Garros.

    Nadal has repeatedly said he plans to call time on his glittering career at the end of 2024, having struggled with hip and abdominal injuries in recent years.

    His 14 titles in the French capital are four more than any other man has won at a specific major, with Novak Djokovic triumphing 10 times at the Australian Open.

    The Spaniard, who has missed the last four majors, arrived at Roland-Garros on Monday and faces a tough opening assignment.

    He will face world number four Zverev – who won the Italian Open last week – for a place in the second round, where David Goffin or Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard awaits.

    Nadal faced Zverev en route to his last grand slam triumph at the 2022 French Open, the German being forced to retire due to an ankle injury over three hours into a gruelling semi-final matchup.

    Novak Djokovic starts his title defence against Pierre-Hugues Herbert, as he looks to fend off competition from Jannik Sinner for top spot in the ATP Rankings.

    Australian Open winner Sinner will face Christopher Eubanks first up, while third seed Carlos Alcaraz begins against a qualifier.

    Like Nadal, Andy Murray is likely featuring at the French Open for the final time, and he has been drawn to face 2015 champion Stan Wawrinka in a huge first-round encounter. 

    In the women's draw, Iga Swiatek starts her bid for a third straight French Open crown against either a qualifier or a lucky loser, with Naomi Osaka a potential second-round opponent if the former world number one can overcome Italy’s Lucia Bronzetti.

    Coco Gauff is on the same side of the draw as Swiatek, while second seed Arnya Sabalenka begins against Erika Andreeva in the other half, with Elena Rybakina her forecasted semi-final opponent. 

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