Alcaraz’s system crashes vs Djoker : The Tribune India

Alcaraz’s system crashes vs Djoker

Spaniard breaks down midway as Serb makes final

Alcaraz’s system crashes vs Djoker

Novak Djokovic clenches his fist after scoring a point. Reuters

PARIS, June 9

Novak Djokovic made a huge leap towards a record 23rd men’s Grand Slam title with a 6-3 5-7 6-1 6-1 French Open semifinal victory against an ailing Carlos Alcaraz in a clash of titans that ended in anti-climatic fashion today.

World No. 1 Alcaraz had just levelled the contest when disaster struck as he limped to his bench holding his right leg at 1-1 in the third set.

Carlos Alcaraz after sustaining an injury. Reuters

While he continued playing, the US Open champion was clearly hampered but Djokovic was merciless, dropping only one of 12 games to book a spot for Sunday’s showdown against either last year’s runner-up Casper Ruud or German Alexander Zverev.

It was unclear whether Alcaraz, who skipped this year’s Australian Open because of a hamstring injury, was suffering from cramps or injured.

Djokovic will play his 34th Grand Slam final, his seventh at Roland Garros, where he lifted the Musketeers’ Cup twice, in 2016 and 2021.

The 36-year-old was facing the ultimate test against Alcaraz, who had bulldozed through the draw, only for the machine to break down in abrupt fashion. “Tough luck for Carlos. Obviously at this level, the last thing you want is cramps and physical problems in the last stages of a Grand Slam,” said Djokovic, who was in his 46th semifinal at a Major. — Reuters

No. 1 Swiatek seeks No. 3

Paris: A little more than four years ago, in the first round of a tiny claycourt tournament in the Czech Republic, 95th-ranked Iga Swiatek lost in three sets to 106th-ranked Karolina Muchova. That was the only time they’ve ever played each other, although they are frequent practice partners. Tomorrow, the two players will step onto the Court Philippe Chatrier for a second match-up — on a far grander stage and with far larger stakes: the French Open championship. Swiatek is now ranked No. 1, where she’s been for more than a year, and is bidding for her third title at Roland Garros and fourth at a Major tournament. Muchova’s career has been sidetracked by various injuries, so she is ranked just 43rd and is unseeded, but she has been at her best over the past two weeks, particularly when coming back after facing a match point to eliminate No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka in the semifinals on Thursday. AP

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