In the most anticipated clash in the men’s singles bracket at Roland Garros, Serbia’s Novak Djokovic overcame Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz. The victory by 3 sets to 1, partials of 6/3, 5/7, 6/1 and 6/1, placed him in the final of the French tournament.
Alcaraz began to suffer severe cramps in the third set, which derailed his performance on the clay court in Paris.
Djokovic can take the leadership of the ATP ranking (Association of Tennis Professionals) if he wins the title this Sunday (11). He will face the winner of the match between Norwegian Casper Ruud and German Alexander Zverev. He would still reach his 23rd Grand Slam title, which would make him, alone, the biggest winner of these tournaments in the so-called “open era” of tennis, which began in 1968.
It will also be his 34th final on the circuit that encompasses the Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon and US Open.
Djokovic started the semifinal showing his best level and it didn’t take long to break Alcaraz’s serve. The Spaniard reacted and had three chances to return the rival’s service break, but he didn’t take advantage of them.
With the Serb in front, the second set was irregular, with several mistakes by both players and, again, Alcaraz had successive opportunities to break Djokovic’s serve. He was successful in the last attempt to close at 7 to 5 and tie the match.
There was the expectation that it would be a long and balanced game, but that ended right at the beginning of the third set, when the Spaniard started to complain of cramps. He handed over the next game because he asked for medical attention when he couldn’t. The current ranking leader was unable to move normally and was easily beaten by his opponent.
Before the start of the fourth set, Alcaraz went to the bathroom and appeared to have recovered, but his performance dropped again after two games. Once again she became easy prey for Djokovic in his pursuit of the all-time record in Grand Slam titles.