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 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.

Casper Ruud survived a scare after being pushed all the way by Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the French Open second round on Thursday.

The Norwegian prevailed 7-6 (7-5), 1-6, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 in an instant classic that lasted just over four hours on Court Suzanne Lenglen.

Ruud knew he was in for a tough match after winning the tiebreak in the first set, and Davidovich Fokina fought back in brilliant fashion to take the second.

The momentum swung back in Ruud’s favour in the third as he regained the lead in the match, but the Spaniard ensured they could not be separated as he forced a decider after another tight contest.

Despite putting up a good fight, Davidovich Fokina failed to see out what would have been a stunning win, as Ruud edged one step closer to a potential first Roland Garros title.

Next up for Ruud is Tomas Martin Etcheverry in the third round.

Data Debrief: Ruud holds his nerve

Ruud lost his first-ever Roland Garros second-round match (v Albert Ramos in 2018) but is unbeaten in his six matches at that stage of the French Open since.

The Norwegian has now reached the third round at Roland Garros six times in his career, which is more than he has in all other three Grand Slams combined (two at the Australian Open, two at the US Open, 0 at Wimbledon). 

Casper Ruud played twice on Saturday to win the Geneva Open, as he heads into Roland-Garros in fine form.

With his semi-final against Flavio Cobolli having been postponed on Friday due to rain, Ruud returned to the court to seal a 1-6 6-1 7-6 (7-4) victory.

The Norwegian was swiftly back in action in Switzerland, taking on Tomas Machac, who stunned Novak Djokovic on Friday, in the final.

And the world number seven made light work of Mahac, winning 7-5 6-3 to become the first three-time champion at the Geneva Open, which he also won in 2021 and 2022.

Data Debrief: Clay court specialist 

Ruud has now claimed an 11th ATP event title on clay since the start of the 2020 season.

He is the only player to win 10+ titles over that span on the surface, with Carlos Alcaraz (seven) the next best.

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.

Casper Ruud's hopes of building on his victory at the Barcelona Open were ended as he lost to Felix Auger-Aliassime at the Madrid Open.

Auger-Aliassime will now face top seed Jannik Sinner in the quarter-finals, after claiming a 6-4 7-5 victory over the fifth seed Ruud on Tuesday.

Ruud, runner-up at last year's French Open and a force to be reckoned with on clay, won in Barcelona earlier in April, but came unstuck against the Canadian.

It was not the only shock exit, as Alexander Zverev, the world number five, succumbed in straight sets to Francisco Cerundolo.

Earlier, Daniil Medvedev claimed his place in the quarters, in which he could face Rafael Nadal, by beating Alexander Bublik 7-6 (7-3) 6-4.

Data Debrief: Medvedev's milestone

Five of the six quarter-finals Medvedev has reached on clay have come at either ATP Masters 1000 or grand slam level.

He has now reached at least the quarter-final stage at all nine Masters events, too.

Jannik Sinner has booked his place in the Madrid Open quarter-final, going the distance to beat Karen Khachanov 5-7 6-3 6-3 on Tuesday.

The top seed dropped a set for the first time at the tournament as an in-form Khachanov, but he shook off the concerns of a lingering hip injury to make a comeback.

After winning the second set, he then saved both break points he faced in the decider, finishing off a contest that lasted over two hours.

Sinner has reached the quarter-final of the Madrid Open for the first time and will face either Casper Ruud or Felix Auger-Aliassime next. 

Data debrief: Sinner overcomes first big test

Not only has the 22-year-old become the only player to reach the quarter-final at all four Master 1000 events in 2024, but he is the first to achieve that feat since Milos Raonic in 2016.

Sinner has also become the first Italian player to make the quarter-finals of all three existing ATP Masters 1000 events on clay, since 2009 when the Madrid Open took the place of the Hamburg Masters.

Stefanos Tsitsipas brushed aside Casper Ruud to claim his third Monte-Carlo Masters title in four years.

The Greek star took just an hour and 37 minutes to see off his Norwegian opponent 6-1 6-4 on Court Rainier III.

Ruud dispatched world number one Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals but he could not repeat the feat as Tsitsipas once again produced his best tennis in the principality.

The title winner, who has had to overcome a back problem, told the ATP Tour’s official website: “It has been very difficult, so to be back on the podiums, winning tournaments just feels amazing.

“I can’t thank my family enough and friends – and if there is God out there – for making this moment possible. I am extremely grateful for every person behind this journey.

“The third time is even more special than the first or second time. This is an unbelievable win for me. Capturing that win today was nerve-wracking. I really wanted this trinity. I am extremely happy today.”

The 25-year-old 12th seed came out firing against the world number 10, breaking the struggling Ruud in the third game and clinching the first set at the second time of asking.

He had to save a break point in the first game of the second set and then three in the seventh as the improving Norwegian pushed for a way back into the match.

However, Tsitsipas then broke to edge himself towards the finishing line and complete a good afternoon’s work.

He said: “I am glad I presented on court and showed some ruthless tennis. From the beginning to the end my play was cohesive and I was able to blend in a lot of different shots.”

Meanwhile, Wimbledon champion Carlos Alcaraz has withdrawn from the Barcelona Open due to injury.

The world number three pulled out of the Monte-Carlo Masters with a right forearm problem and has not recovered in time to defend his title in his home country.

A statement from the tournament read: “Carlos Alcaraz will not be able to defend the title he won the last two seasons.

“The player from Murcia has suffered from the injury sustained in Monte Carlo, and did not have a good feeling in his training on Sunday and, despite having tried until the last moment, he will not be in the Barcelona Open.

“Wishing you a speedy recovery, we hope to see you next year.”

Fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal is scheduled to make his comeback from injury at the tournament.

The 37-year-old has not played on the main tour since January due to a hip injury.

Novak Djokovic is safely into the third round, but there were a couple of big shocks on day three of the US Open.

Seventh seed Stefanos Tsitsipas was knocked out in five sets by Dominic Stricker, a qualifier ranked 128 in the world.

Then, in the night session, fifth seed and last year’s runner-up Casper Ruud fell foul of China’s world number 67 Zhang Zhizhen.

British qualifier Lily Miyakazi’s run came to and end in the second round.

Here, the PA news agency looks back at day three at Flushing Meadows.

Pic of the dayShock of the day

Chocolate-loving Dominic Stricker caused a major upset at the US Open by knocking out seventh seed Stefanos Tsitsipas.

The chubby-cheeked 21-year-old qualifier from Switzerland, ranked 128 in the world, stunned two-time grand slam finalist Tsitsipas with a 7-5 6-7 (2) 6-7 (5) 7-6 (8) 6-3 victory to reach the third round.

The former French Open junior champion recently admitted his coach had told him to cut down on chocolate and cookies.

Yet it was Athens-born Tsitsipas who was left feeling sour after a four-hour slog on the Grandstand Court.

Brit watch

Miyazaki’s US Open adventure was ended in the second round by Olympic champion Belinda Bencic.

The 27-year-old came through three matches to qualify at Flushing Meadows for the first time and then picked up a maiden grand slam win against Margarita Betova in round one.

But the world number 198 found 15th seed Bencic, of Switzerland, too tough a nut to crack as she bowed out 6-3 6-3.

Miyazaki still leaves New York with the consolation prize of having virtually doubled her earnings for the year with a £98,000 pay day for winning her first-round match.

There were victories in the doubles for Jamie Murray, with Michael Venus, Joe Salisbury alongside partner Rajeev Ram, Lloyd Glasspool with Harri Heliovaara. and British pair Julian Cash and Henry Patten.

Quote of the dayFallen seeds:

Women: Petra Kvitova (11), Victoria Azarenka (18), Beatriz Haddad Maia (19), Magda Linette (24)
Men: Casper Ruud (5), Stefanos Tsitsipas (7), Francisco Cerundolo (20), Chris Eubanks (28).

Who’s up next?

Andy Murray kicks things off on Arthur Ashe against Bulgarian ninth seed Grigor Dimitrov. Fellow Brits Dan Evans, Cameron Norrie, Jack Draper and Katie Boulter are also in action along with Jodie Burrage, who faces the match of her life against second seed Aryna Sabalenka on Louis Armstrong.

Novak Djokovic stands alone at the pinnacle of men’s tennis after defeating Casper Ruud to win his 23rd grand slam title at the French Open.

Since claiming his first at the Australian Open in 2008, Djokovic has been pursuing Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal through the history books but now he has surpassed both having broken the record he jointly held with Nadal.

Djokovic’s 7-6 (1) 6-3 7-5 victory over Ruud draws him level with Serena Williams and he could equal Margaret Court’s all-time singles mark at Wimbledon next month.

The Serbian, meanwhile, also becomes the first man ever to win at least three slam titles at all the major tournaments – a measure of his all-round greatness.

Ruud had impressed in making it back to the final, where he won only six games against Nadal last year, and was looking for his first title in his third final having also lost to Carlos Alcaraz at the US Open.

He had failed to win a set in four previous matches against Djokovic, though, and missed his chance here in an 81-minute opener before the Serbian pulled away for his 21st consecutive slam victory.

This was the most humid day of the fortnight and, with black clouds looming, it appeared the match would be played under the roof on Philippe Chatrier only for the cover to be removed just before the start.

Ruud’s best chance was to make a fast start and take advantage of the nerves Djokovic would surely be feeling so close to a goal he has been pursuing relentlessly for years.

On his only previous shot at striking out on his own, at the US Open in 2021, he had rather frozen in sight of the line, losing to Daniil Medvedev in the final.

Ruud had read the script and came out sharp, exploiting Djokovic’s unusually leaden footwork with high shots to push his opponent back and breaking in the second game when the Serbian shanked a smash – the one remaining weakness in his game.

Djokovic had NFL great Tom Brady in his player box, while Kylian Mbappe and Zlatan Ibrahimovic were also in the crowd, and they witnessed Djokovic claw his way back, breaking in the seventh game after a punishing rally that ended with Ruud netting an overhead.

Djokovic refused to miss in another long rally after Ruud created a break point in the next game, but it was the third seed cursing himself for a missed opportunity at 4-4, with his irritation compounded when he lost his balance and fell sprawling to the clay.

Djokovic also complained vociferously to the umpire about the quick turnaround between games as the set extended beyond the hour mark.

The longer it went on, the more important it became to win it, and Ruud was two points away on Djokovic’s serve after winning a point with a tweener lob but that was as close as he would come.

One of Djokovic’s greatest strengths is the ability to raise his level at key moments and he won an absurd sixth tie-break of the tournament without making a single unforced error.

Given Djokovic had won his previous 100 slam matches once he had taken the opening set, it was a crushing blow for Ruud, and that was compounded when he dropped serve in the second game of the second set.

Djokovic now looked fully settled, with his forehand purring, and, although Ruud saved two set points at 2-5, the door was firmly shut in his face in the next game.

Ruud was now clinging on by his fingernails but he was determined not to allow Djokovic to run away with it, as Nadal had last year.

The Norwegian found a better rhythm on his serve and applied some pressure to Djokovic, although he was left cursing his luck when his opponent benefited from a lucky netcord down 0-30 at 3-4, giving the French crowd a final chance for a round of booing.

The question seemed to be when Djokovic would make his move, though, and it came at 5-5, a series of superlative groundstrokes earning him the break, and moments later his moment of history.

Nadal was among the first to hail the Serbian, tweeting: “Many congrats on this amazing achievement @DjokerNole. 23 is a number that just a few years back was imposible to think about, and you made it! Enjoy it with your family and team!”

Carlos Alcaraz survived a major scare in the opening match of his Madrid Open title defence as he came from behind to beat Emil Ruusuvuori.

The defending champion, who defeated Alexander Zverev in last year's final, was twice broken in the opening set by Ruusuvuori but responded well to prevail 2-6 6-4 6-2.

Alcaraz hit 36 winners to his opponent's 23 to reach the last 32, where Grigor Dimitrov awaits after defeating Gregoire Barrere 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-2). 

"It was really tough. I would say I was about to lose," Alcaraz said in his on-court interview. "It was really tough. Emil played unbelievably, but I am really happy to get through that."

There was a shock result elsewhere as third seed Casper Ruud lost 6-3 6-4 to Matteo Arnaldi, who had never previously claimed victory over a top-10 opponent.

Arnaldi previously eliminated Benoit Paire and will now take on Jaume Munar – the Spaniard advancing after Tallon Griekspoor retired when a set behind in their second-round tie.

Monte Carlo Masters winner Andrey Rublev continued his good form on the clay courts with a 7-5 6-4 win against Stan Wawrinka.

Nuno Borges will face reigning champion Carlos Alcaraz in the second round of the Barcelona Open after a 6-2 6-3 triumph over Ilya Avashka on Monday.

Borges created a remarkable 20 break points, converting only five but still comfortable against his 61st-ranked opponent.

That sets up a clash with number one seed Alcaraz, who beat Pablo Carreno Busta in the 2022 final.

Ben Shelton's 7-5 6-4 success over countryman Mackenzie McDonald means he will take on Casper Ruud, while Bernabe Zapata Miralles will play Roberto Bautista Agut in an all-Spanish second-round affair after earning a routine 6-2 6-2 win over unfancied Attila Balazs.

Meanwhile, Emil Ruusuvuori beat Alexander Bublik in Barcelona for a second straight year to set up a second-round meeting with fifth seed Frances Tiafoe.

At the BMW Open in Munich, 2022 winner Holger Rune will open his defence against Yannick Hanfmann after the German battled from a set down to beat Thiago Monteiro 6-7 (3-7) 7-6 (7-5) 6-2.

Marcos Giron reached the second round with a 6-1 5-7 6-2 victory over Roberto Carballes Baene.

Lorenzo Musetti stunned Novak Djokovic to seal a "dream" victory and a quarter-final spot in the Monte Carlo Masters.

Falling to a 4-6 defeat in the first set, Musetti responded to win 7-5 in the second and 6-4 in the third following a rain delay.

The 21-year-old overcame the world number one in a mammoth two-hour, 54 minute encounter and capitalised on weak serves from the Serbian – breaking his opponent eight times en route to a career high victory.

Emotions were high for Musetti, who said afterwards: "I am struggling not to cry. It is an emotional win because it was a really long match. Three-hour match and suspended by rain.

"It was not easy conditions because it was a little bit windy and cold. Not like we used to play in the recent days. I am really proud of myself and I can see on the screen. I am struggling not to cry because it is a dream for me."

Musetti's reward is a clash with Jannik Sinner in the quarter-finals, who trailed Hubert Hurkacz by a set and a break before rallying to a 3-6 7-6 (8-6) 6-1 triumph – sending him into the last-eight in six of the seven events he has played this season.

Elsewhere, Andrey Rublev earned a 50th tour-level win on clay with a 7-6 (6-4) 6-2 victory over Karen Khachanov, who was his doubles partner earlier this week before the pair suffered elimination against Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski.

Rublev will meet German qualifier Jan-Lennard Struff in the next round, who secured a major upset earlier in the day by eliminating world number four Casper Ruud.

A 6-1 7-6 (10-8) victory earned Struff his first top 10 win since June 2021, when he defeated Daniil Medvedev in Halle, and advances to his first ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final since Cincinnati in 2020.

Casper Ruud clinched his 10th career ATP title with a straight-sets victory over Miomir Kecmanovic in Sunday's Estoril Open final, while Roberto Carballes Baena won the Grand Prix Hassan II.

Having enjoyed the best season of his career in 2022, Ruud was bidding for his first trophy success of 2023 in Portugal, and the world number five made a flying start to his clash with Kecmanovic.

Ruud wrapped up the opener in just 36 minutes, taking control with a huge forehand winner to break in just the third game.

The Norwegian navigated two three-set contests in order to reach the showpiece, and it looked like another of his matches may go the distance when Kecmanovic recovered to force a second-set tie-break.

However, a dipping backhand saw Ruud secure the second of two crucial mini breaks, and he took the first of his three championship points to cap a fine week with silverware, sealing a 6-2 7-6 (7-3) win.

Elsewhere, Carballes Baena won just his second career title, triumphing on the clay in Marrakesh where he beat Alexandre Muller 4-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-2.

France's Muller showed no signs of being overawed on his first final outing as he took the opener in impressive fashion, but Carballes Baena edged a tie-break in the second before dominating the decider.

Carballes Baena's triumph – recorded in just under three hours – gave him his first title since the 2018 Ecuador Open, which also came on his favoured clay surface.

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