Rampant Ruud stops Zverev to book French Open final with Djokovic
PARIS – A flawless Casper Ruud returned to the French Open final for a second year running by dismantling German 22nd seed Alexander Zverev 6-3 6-4 6-0 in a battle of big-hitters on Friday.
Ruud set up a showdown with 22-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic, who knocked off No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz of Spain, 6-3 5-7 6-1 6-1, in the other semifinal.
Last year’s runner-up Ruud swapped early breaks with Zverev before turning up the heat on a warm evening on Court Philippe Chatrier by pounding the German with some vicious, spin-heavy forehands to go up 5-2 en route to claiming the opening set.
Zverev, playing in a third straight Roland Garros semifinal at the scene of his season-ending ankle injury last year, wasted an early opening in the next set and found himself in trouble as fourth seed Ruud snatched another break in the seventh game.
Ruud extended his lead in the match and continued to control the rallies from behind the baseline to frustrate an error-prone Zverev in the next set, before storming into a third Grand Slam final in his last five events going back to Roland Garros 2022.