Alexander Zverev battled past Arthur Fils despite losing the first set to book a place in the Halle Open semi-finals.

The German, chasing his first-ever grass-court title, needed two and a half hours to get his 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-4 victory.

Neither player managed a break in the opening set, matching each other evenly before Fils finally got the edge in the tie-break to take the lead.

Zverev soon raised his level though, and during a run of eight consecutive points, broke the Frenchman to love at 3-2 on his way to forcing a decider.

Despite another bright start to the set by Fils, he failed to get a single break, with Zverev rallying to set up a meeting with Hubert Hurkacz in the next round.

Data Debrief: Zverev edges ever-closer to grass title

Zverev is 37-10 for the season, and is the first person since Roger Federer (2012-19) to reach back-to-back semi-finals at the Halle Open.

A two-time finalist at the tournament, the German is hoping to add two more wins to his 18-7 record in Germany to finally get his hands on the trophy.

Daniil Medvedev crashed out of the Halle Open in the second round on Wednesday, succumbing to a 6-3 2-6 7-6 (7-5) defeat to Chinese number one Zhang Zhizhen.

Medvedev looked to be on course for the third round at 5-3 up in the decisive tie-break, but Zhang won four successive points to reach the last eight.

Zhang had earlier dropped six straight games from 2-2 in the second set, but he responded to losing an early break in the decider with one of his own to restore parity, then came on strong in the tie-break.

He will face Christopher Eubanks in the next round after the American eliminated defending champion Alexander Bublik with a 7-6 (7-5) 4-6 6-3 victory.

Meanwhile, second seed Alexander Zverev avoided an upset as he saw off a spirited performance from Lorenzo Sonego, winning 6-4 7-6 (7-5) to tee up a meeting with Arthur Fils.

Data Debrief: Zhang breaks new ground

Zhang's victory saw him become the first Chinese player to reach the Halle Open quarter-finals, also representing his second top-five victory after he beat Casper Ruud at last year's US Open.

Alexander Zverev avoided a first-round upset at the Halle Open after battling past fellow German Oscar Otte on Tuesday.

The second seed managed to triumph in his first match since the French Open final defeat to Carlos Alcaraz, eventually winning 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-4.

Zverev has twice reached the show-piece at this event, in 2016 and 2017, though acknowledged challenges remain with adapting from the clay-court surfaces at Roland-Garros.

"A week ago, I was playing on clay still basically," Zverev said in his on-court interview. "He made it very tough for me, no rhythm at all.

"That's how grass-court tennis is sometimes and I'm just happy with the win.

"He did make it extremely difficult for me, so credit to him. I'm obviously happy that I won and hopefully, it's going to be a level above in the next match."

The world number four is now 35-10 for the season and will look to extend that record when he meets Italy's Lorenzo Sonego in the next round.

Zverev has won all three head-to-head meetings with Sonego, and will fancy his chances if he delivers another heavy-hitting performance next time out.

The 27-year-old smashed 54 winners, compared to his 40 unforced errors, to triumph in just over two hours under the OWL Arena roof.

Stefanos Tsitsipas also began his grass season with victory, defeating home hopeful Henri Squire 7-6 (9-7) 7-6 (7-2).

The Greek sixth seed will face Luciano Darderi or Jan-Lennard Struff in the second round.

Rafael Nadal will partner Carlos Alcaraz in the men's doubles at the Paris Olympics, the Royal Spanish Tennis Federation has confirmed.

The Spanish duo - who will also participate in the singles competition - will team up for the tournament at Roland-Garros, which begins on July 27.

Both players have fond memories of the venue with Nadal a record 14-time French Open champion, while Alcaraz landed his maiden clay-court major crown last weekend.

Nadal is expected to call time on his glittering career this year.

A gold medallist in 2008 (singles) and 2016 (doubles), the 22-time major winner is unlikely to appear at Wimbledon and will instead focus on the Olympics where, if fit, he had hoped to partner Alcaraz.

Spain's national team coach confirmed he had got his wish, saying: "One pair, which I think everyone knows and was hoping for, is Carlos Alcaraz and Rafael Nadal. Rafa and Carlos will be playing together in Paris."

Alcaraz, who will make his debut at the Games, became the youngest player in the Open Era to win the singles title at three different grand slams when he triumphed over Alexander Zverev at Roland-Garros on Sunday.

Carlos Alcaraz revealed he plans to commemorate his French Open triumph with a tattoo of the Eiffel Tower on his left ankle.

The Spaniard claimed his first title at Roland-Garros - and third grand slam - after beating Alexander Zverev in a thrilling five-set final on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

The 21-year-old became the youngest player to win his first three majors on different surfaces - and the first to do so in his first three major finals.

It was a special win for the world number two, who grew up playing on clay courts in his native Spain and would rush from home school to watch the tournament on television.

Alcaraz also visited Roland-Garros as a 12-year-old in 2015, from which photos reappeared on social media after he became the eighth Spaniard to lift the Coupe des Mousquetaires nine years later.

"It will be on the left ankle, the Eiffel Tower and today's date," he said of his proposed tattoo to permanently remind him of his victory. "I have to find time, but I will do it for sure.

"I have dreamed of being in this position since I started playing tennis, and I was five or six years old.

"Winning a Grand Slam is always special, but here at Roland-Garros, knowing all the Spanish players who have won here, to put my name on that list is unbelievable."

Alexander Zverev suggested there could be changes to his team as he looks to match Carlos Alcaraz.

The German lost a five-set thriller at Roland-Garros 6-3 2-6 5-7 6-1 6-2 as Alcaraz became the youngest player to win grand slam titles on all three surfaces.

Zverev had taken a 2-1 lead after winning the third set, but the Spaniard was able to battle back and claim his third major triumph. 

Speaking after the encounter, Zverev admitted he was second best, as he highlighted the difference in intensity when playing against Alcaraz, admitting he would look at himself and his team to see where they can improve in the future. 

"We're both physically strong, but he's a beast. He's an animal, for sure," said Zverev. 

"The intensity he plays tennis at is different to other people. You know, he can do so many different things, right? I think he changed his tactic a lot in the fifth set, started to play a lot higher, a lot deeper for me to not create as much power. Especially with the shadows on the court, it was slower again.

"But he's a fantastic player, and physically he's fantastic. So, you know, I have to look at myself and I have to look at the team that I have and see, you know, what I can do to become at the same level."

However, Zverev also reflected that sometimes, there is not much that can be done against such a quality player, and he does not feel he threw away the title in the same way he did at the US Open against Dominic Thiem in 2020.

"He played better than me the fourth and fifth sets. It's how it is," Zverev added.

"I felt like this grand slam final I did everything I could. At the US Open I kind of gave it away myself. It's a bit different.

"I lost focus, and on my serve I didn't get the power from my legs anymore, which is weird. Because normally I do not get tired.

"I don't cramp, I don't get tired normally. But again, against Carlos it's a different intensity, so maybe that was the case a bit. Maybe I have to look at my preparation. Maybe I have to look at how I do things on a physical base as well.

"Of course, look, I felt from the tennis level I was playing decent and he was playing decent for three sets. Then I dropped a lot."

Alexander Zverev described Carlos Alcaraz as a future International Tennis Hall of Famer after losing to the Spaniard in a five-set classic in Sunday's French Open final.

Alcaraz clinched his third major title – and his first at Roland Garros – with a 6-3 2-6 5-7 6-1 6-2 success on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

The 21-year-old looked set for defeat when Zverev went 2-1 up, the German's aggressive style allowing him to dictate the contest from the baseline, but the Spaniard rediscovered his composure in the fourth set.

After evening things up, Alcaraz clinched two breaks in the decider to join compatriot Rafael Nadal on the list of French Open champions.

At the age of 21 years and 35 days, he is the youngest player in the Open Era to win men's singles titles at three different grand slams.

He has also needed the fewest major appearances (13) of any male player in the Open Era to capture grand slam titles on grass, clay and hard courts.

Speaking in his post-match interview, Zverev – who has lost both of his grand slam finals – said: "Congratulations Carlos. Third grand slam at 21 years old. It's incredible.

"You won three different ones. You're already a Hall of Famer and you're only 21 years old."

Alcaraz, meanwhile, thanked his support team for their work in helping him overcome a troublesome forearm injury that caused him to miss the Italian Open. 

"My team have been incredible in the last month. We were struggling a lot with the injury. Coming back from Madrid, I didn't feel well," he said.

"I'm grateful to have the team that I have. I know everyone in my team is giving their heart to help me improve. I call this a team but it's a family.

"I have loved having part of my family here. I used to watch this tournament on TV and now I'm holding the trophy, so thank you very much.

"Everyone has a really important part in making this tournament special. It's not easy to do that, we complain a lot, but you all do a great job. Thank you to everyone.

"The crowd have been great since the first match until today. The support has been unbelievable in the matches and practice. I'll see you soon, for sure. Thank you."

Addressing Zverev, Alcaraz added: "It's unbelievable, the level you are playing at and the work you are putting in every day. 

"I'm pretty sure you will win slams and this tournament very, very soon, so keep going and congratulations."

Carlos Alcaraz claimed the French Open title for the first time as he beat Alexander Zverev 6-3 2-6 5-7 1-6 6-2 on Sunday.

Alcaraz was staring down the barrel of a defeat when Zverev emphatically came back from conceding an early break of serve to take the third set and a 2-1 lead.

Yet the Spaniard turned on the style in the fourth, needing just 41 minutes to take the set and tee up a decider.

Alcaraz grabbed the first, crucial break, and then clawed back four break points to hold onto that advantage.

A second break followed in game seven, paving the way for Alcaraz to win his third grand slam title when he sent a brilliant shot into the corner.

Neither player started confidently as the first set began with back-to-back breaks of serve, but it was Alcaraz who took an error-strewn opener, slamming a powerful forehand past Zverev on set point.

A downcast Zverev shouted at his box as the mistakes continued at the start of the second set, but a lengthy hold was the catalyst for a sudden upturn as his aggression and power began to overwhelm Alcaraz on the longer rallies.

The German took five straight games to level things up, even drawing applause from Alcaraz with a flicked backhand winner at the net, one of the shots of the tournament.

Alcaraz initially came on strong in the third set, breaking to love in the fifth game courtesy of some expert play at the net, but Zverev roared back to inch ahead, converting his second set point with an overhead smash.

The momentum switched yet again in the fourth as Alcaraz rediscovered his groove either side of a medical timeout for treatment on his left leg, Zverev's consistency tailing off as he only won 46 per cent of points behind his first serve. 

Alcaraz did not let it slip from there, breaking Zverev in game three of the decider, before brilliantly saving four break points himself in the very next game.

With Zverev's resolve broken, Alcaraz duly served out, etching his name on the French Open trophy alongside legendary compatriot Rafael Nadal.

Data Debrief: He's a superstar 

Alcaraz, aged 21 years and 35 days, is the second-youngest player in the Open Era to win all his first three major finals, after Bjorn Borg (20 years and 27 days).

He is also the youngest player in the Open Era to win the singles title at three different grand slams, with the Australian Open the only one missing from the set.

Alcaraz has taken the fewest main draw appearances of any player in the Open Era to win titles on grass, clay and hard courts, and is the youngest player to win majors on clay, grass and hard court, surpassing Nadal.

Record-champion Nadal may well have made his farewell Roland-Garros appearance, but the future of tennis is in safe hands with his heir apparent.

Alexander Zverev is looking to put previous disappointments in major tournaments behind him when he faces Carlos Alcaraz in the French Open final on Sunday.

Zverev booked his place in his maiden final in the competition with a comeback victory over Casper Ruud, who was affected by illness, winning 2-6, 6-2, 6-4, 6-2.

Zverev previously reached the US Open final in 2020, which he lost to Dominic Thiem, before having to retire in the French Open semi-final in 2022 after just two sets.

It has not been a smooth journey to the final this year, as he has been forced to go the distance and come from behind in most matches, but Zverev is confident that will only make him stronger.

"No, I think, look, to go deep and to win a Grand Slam, you have to go through difficulties, and you have to go through a lot of ups and downs," Zverev said after his win on Friday.

"Normally to win a Grand Slam you have to go through battles. You have to come back in tough five-set matches. You have to come back from difficult moments. I'm happy about the way and the path I had. I'm happy to be in a Grand Slam final and give myself the best chance to win on Sunday."

"Going from the US Open final where I was two points away to then being rolled off in a wheelchair here two years ago. It's all the path of my journey.

"Look, I'm in the final. I haven't won yet. But I just want to play my best tennis and give myself the best chance. If I am able to lift that trophy, it will mean the world to me."

Zverev has already won the Italian Open this year, his sixth Masters title, and his first since 2021.

Aiming to win his first major title, the 27-year-old looked back at his previous tournament experiences, noting how they pushed him to where he is now.

"There was one of two ways to come back from two situations," he added.

"You either come back stronger, and you come back hungrier, which I feel like I did in 2021 when I had my best year on tour so far. Didn't win a Grand Slam, but felt like I had opportunities, won the gold medal, won the most titles on tour by any player that year.

"Or you kind of go into yourself. You drop mentally a bit, as well. I'm happy that I was the sort of person that took the first path.

"Here I am. I want to give myself the best chance, and that's what I'm doing at the end of the day. We'll see how Sunday goes."

Alexander Zverev roared into his second grand slam final by beating Casper Ruud 2-6 6-2 6-4 6-2 at the French Open, the Norwegian affected by illness as he wilted on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

Ruud entered Friday's semi-final rested after benefitting from Novak Djokovic's withdrawal in the last eight, and he controlled the baseline rallies with confidence as he took the opener.

However, a long forehand gifted Zverev a break in the opening game of the second set and the German did not look back from there, winning 92 per cent of points behind his first serve as he levelled things up.

More mistakes crept into Ruud's game and he told the umpire he was feeling unwell three games into the third, when Zverev continued to press home his physical advantage.

Ruud left the court after going 2-1 down in a bid to recompose himself, but Zverev set the tone for another dominant set by crashing home a big forehand winner for an opening-game break, and Ruud never looked like hitting back as the big-serving German advanced. 

Data Debrief: Zverev's clay form rewarded

Zverev has become increasingly comfortable on the clay this year, winning the Italian Open and reaching his first final at Roland Garros.

He is just the fifth player in the last two decades to reach the men's singles final at both events in the same year, after Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.

He will take on Carlos Alcaraz in Sunday's showpiece match, having won five of his nine tour-level meetings with the Spaniard. 

Alexander Zverev has no interest in recovering fitness as the world number four aims to push to an "absolute limit" at the French Open.

The German overcame Alex de Minaur in straight sets on Court Philippe-Chatrier, progressing to the Roland-Garros semi-finals for a fourth straight year on Wednesday.

Yet that does not tell the whole story as Zverev battled relentlessly to earn his 6-4 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 triumph over the Australian world number 11.

Falling 4-0 and 5-1 down in the second-set tie-break, Zverev seemed to afford De Minaur a route back into the match, only for the fourth seed to come crashing back in a response.

Zverev eventually sealed victory in just under three hours of the quarter-final meeting, and has every intention of pushing himself further for the last-four clash with Casper Ruud.

"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," Zverev said in his on-court interview.

"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.

"I've been doing that over many years and I'm happy to be in another semi-final. Hopefully I can win one."

A fourth semi-final appearance in Paris means Zverev will equal Dominic Thiem for the most of any player born since 1990.

Among players with five main draws in the Open Era, Zverev (80.5 per cent) also holds the best winning percentage at Roland-Garros of any player not to have won the singles title at the event.

Ruud will stand in the way of a major final outing for Zverev, who says his battling identity has been embroiled in his mind from a young age.

"I have a coach who's my father who couldn't care less how I feel on the practice court," he added.

"Since I was three years old, it was run here, run there, run for four hours straight. He sometimes forgets I'm two metres tall and can hit a serve 230 kilometres an hour.

"I wish I would be more aggressive sometimes, but if I'm winning, I'm happy."

Alexander Zverev secured his place in the French Open semi-finals for a fourth straight year after overcoming Alex de Minaur on Wednesday.

The world number four will meet Casper Ruud, who progressed with a bye after Novak Djokovic's injury withdrawal, in the last four after a battling 6-4 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 triumph on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

De Minaur overcame Daniil Medvedev in the previous round to earn his first Roland-Garros quarter-final appearance, though it was one to forget as his serving – and Zverev's grit – proved the 11th seed's undoing.

Both players traded a break apiece during an entertaining opening in the French capital, only for De Minaur's double fault to hand Zverev the 4-3 advantage to hold his serve and take the first set.

The Australian snatched a crucial break midway through the second set, yet Zverev – who was warned with a time violation by the umpire for taking too long over his serve – saved a set point to keep his hopes alive.

That was a sign of things to come, too, as Zverev once again fought from 4-0 and 5-1 down in the tie-breaker, somehow clinching a 2-0 lead in the match from a seeming point of no return.

Having failed to level in that cruel tie-break defeat, De Minaur managed to break Zverev late in the third set but the former responded immediately to secure a hard-fought win in just under three hours.

Data Debrief: Zverev continues on song

Zverev extended to 11 straight wins after this victory, with that run including his sixth ATP Masters 1000 title in Rome two weeks prior to the start of this major.

The German is just the 11th man of the Open Era to reach four consecutive semi-finals at the French Open, where a rested Ruud awaits next.

De Minaur, meanwhile, misses out on the chance to become the first Australian man since Pat Rafter in 1997 to make the last four on Parisian clay.

Alexander Zverev reached the fourth round of the French Open with a thrilling five-set win over Tallon Griekspoor, finding a second wind after a stirring rally from the Dutchman.

Zverev triumphed 3-6 6-4 6-2 4-6 7-6 (10-3) at the end of a gruelling four-hour, 17-minute contest on Court Philippe-Chatrier, teeing up a last-16 meeting with Holger Rune or Jozef Kovalik.

Zverev looked to have weathered an early storm when he fought back after losing the opener to go 2-1 up, but Griekspoor refused to go away and came roaring back in the fourth set, which lasted almost an hour.

The world number four appeared to be up against it when he was broken in the first game of the decider, and his frustrations got the better of him as he yelled at the umpire before being broken again.

However, he immediately hit back with two breaks of his own to go from 4-1 down to 4-4, eventually forcing a decisive tie-break.

He found another gear from there, sapping Griekspoor's confidence with some excellent play at the net, with a fine passing shot past his stranded opponent a highlight before he clinched victory with an ace. 

Data Debrief: Zverev gathering momentum

Having warmed up for Roland Garros by winning the Italian Open, Zverev has now won nine straight matches on clay for the first time since 2018, when he won 13 consecutive contests on the surface at Munich, Madrid and Rome. 

Alexander Zverev cruised through to the third round of the French Open with a straight-sets victory over David Goffin on Thursday.

The fourth seed followed up his impressive win over 14-time Roland Garros champion Rafael Nadal in the last round by beating Goffin 7-6 (7-4), 6-2, 6-2 after two hours and 22 minutes on the court.

Zverev was pushed all the way in the opening set before eventually edging it, and his intensity and power carried him through the rest of the match.

Despite making five unforced errors in the second set, the German remained in control and did not face a single break point in the third to advance.

He will play either Tallon Griekspoor or Luciano Darderi in the next round as he continues to chase his first major title. 

Data Debrief: Zverev continues dominance on clay

Zverev has won eight consecutive matches on clay for the first time since 2019, when he won eight between Geneva and Roland Garros. 

This was a significant victory, too, as it is his 90th in Grand Slam events - only Boris Becker and Tommy Haas have more among German players in men's singles. 

David Goffin has claimed a member of the crowd spat chewing gum at him during Tuesday's first-round win over Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard at the French Open.

Goffin was booed by the crowd on court 14 after his 4-6 6-4 6-3 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 win over the home favourite and responded by cupping his ears.

The Belgian – who reached his highest singles ranking of seventh in 2017 – will face Alexander Zverev in the second round on Thursday, after the German eliminated Rafael Nadal.

He was enraged by the treatment he received during his opening match, accusing French tennis fans of being less respectful than their counterparts at other grand slams. 

"Clearly, it goes too far, it's total disrespect. It's really too much," Goffin told reporters. "It's becoming football, soon there will be smoke bombs, hooligans and there will be fights in the stands.

"It's starting to become ridiculous. Some people are there more to cause trouble than to create an atmosphere.

"Someone spat out their chewing gum at me. It was getting complicated. That's why I wanted to stay calm. If I started to get angry about it, it could have destabilised me.

"I think it only happens in France. At Wimbledon, obviously, there's not that. Or in Australia either. At the US Open, it's still rather quiet. Here, it's a really unhealthy atmosphere."

Page 1 of 13
© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.