Alexander Zverev defeats Casper Ruud at Roland Garros

Match Report

Zverev overcomes ailing Ruud to reach Roland Garros final

German seeking first major title

Peter Staples/ATP Tour Alexander Zverev reaches his second major final on Friday in Paris. By ATP Staff

Alexander Zverev reached his maiden Roland Garros final on Friday in his fourth semi-final attempt. The German moved past two-time finalist Casper Ruud 2-6, 6-2, 6-4, 6-2.

Zverev lost in the last four at the clay-court major in 2021, 2022 and 2023, falling to Ruud in straight sets at this stage last year. However, the 27-year-old ensured history did not repeat itself under the lights on Court Philippe-Chatrier, where he recovered from a slow start to dispatch the Norwegian.

“I am extremely happy,” Zverev said. “I have so much history on this court and had some of the best memories and worst memories on this court. I am so happy to be in the final finally on my fourth semi-final. I am going to give it my all on Sunday.”

Zverev acted as a brick wall at times against Ruud to force the seventh seed to hit an extra shot. The fourth seed also took large cuts off both wings to rush Ruud, who received treatment for a stomach issue in the third set.

Ruud was bent over on the baseline at times between points and looked like he was physically struggling during the changeovers in the third and fourth set. Zverev now holds a 3-2 Lexus ATP Head2Head series advantage against Ruud following his two-hour, 36-minute win.

“I thought the first two sets were very high level. End of third set I saw he started to move a bit slower. That is normally how it is when you are not feeling quite well,” Zverev said. “But his shots are still the same. So if you look at how he moves and all that and if you start to be a bit more passive, he is going to win the match. Credit to him to play until the end and fight until the end. He is a great champion and a great person.”

The No. 4 player in the PIF ATP Rankings is chasing his first major title and will play Carlos Alcaraz in Sunday’s final. Zverev’s only previous major final came at the US Open in 2020, when he lost to Dominic Thiem in five sets.

With his 34th tour-level win of the season, Zverev became the second German man to reach the Roland Garros title match in the Open Era, joining Michael Stich (1996). The 27-year-old has won his past 12 matches, having lifted his sixth ATP Masters 1000 crown in Rome last month.

He has been made to work hard in France, beating Tallon Griekspoor and Holger Rune in consecutive five-set matches. The two-time Nitto ATP Finals champion also eliminated record 14-time champ Rafael Nadal in the first round.

Ruud was aiming to become just the seventh player to reach his third consecutive Roland Garros final. The World No. 7 has earned the most tour-level wins (39) and clay wins (21) in 2024.

“Casper is too good of a player to be waiting and not to play your game,” Zverev said. “I did that last year and lost very easily. I knew I had to be much more aggressive and take it on to him and I did and I am pleased the balls went in today.”

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