Alexander Zverev and Casper Ruud are back in the semifinals at Roland-Garros: the first had left his last year on the Central leaning on crutches while he pushed Rafael Nadal to his limits, the other had continued until the final where the Spaniard had corrected him.

Alexander Zverev has recorded his return to the highest level: a year after twisting his right ankle very violently, the German has again risen to the last four by dismissing Wednesday, June 7 the unexpected Argentine Tomas Etcheverry (49th) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

"I'm in the semi-finals of Roland Garros and I'm very happy! As I said before, last year was the hardest of my life. That's why I'm so happy to be back. I'm coming back on Friday (for his semi-final) and I couldn't be happier," said the 26-year-old.

Last year, he was making life difficult for Nadal when he was injured. Two days later, the Spaniard won his 14th Parisian title. The injury kept him out of the loop for the rest of the 2022 season and he had yet to string up four straight tournament wins since returning in early 2023.

At Roland Garros, he is at five and will play his third semifinal in a row with his sights set on a first major final since the 2020 US Open.

"Not finished"

"My tournament is not over," he insisted after qualifying on Wednesday. I'm certainly happy to have arrived here, but I hope I still have two games to play. And they won't be any easier" than against Etcheverry who took his first set of the tournament.

First, he will face Norwegian Casper Ruud (4th) on Friday, who defeated Danish prodigy Holger Rune (6th) 6-1, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.

"I'm relieved... I wanted to play relaxed, but it was very difficult," said Ruud, adding that he "played at a high level" in the three sets he won, even though Rune "gave him a lot of free points" in the first two, presumably because he "didn't feel good". "He was the favourite because he had a better start to the season than me, but I really wanted to get back to the semis," added the 2022 finalist.

The other half will offer the long-awaited clash between the two big favorites in the absence of Rafel Nadal, the Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz (N.1) and the Serbian Novak Djokovic (3rd), who qualified on Tuesday.

In the women's draw, world No. 1 Iga Swiatek is well at the rendezvous and is only one match away from the long-awaited final against No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka. To achieve this, she will have to dismiss the surprising Brazilian Beatriz Haddad (14th) on Thursday.

With AFP

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