Alexander Zverev is looking forward to his third semi-final in a row at the French Open - and wants to immortalize himself in the history books of his sport.
Only a year after the serious ankle injury in the same place, the 26-year-old Olympic champion has the chance to reach the first final of the classic clay court in Paris.
"Tennis consists of Grand Slams. Grand Slams are tennis history. That's what you play for," said Zverev before the duel with Norwegian Casper Ruud on Friday. "I think the two most important things in tennis are Grand Slams and the Olympics. If you're in a semi-final or a final, that's a clear difference from the finals of other tournaments."
The most important thing about the game at a glance:
Tennis Day in Paris
Zverev's match on the Philippe-Chatrier court will not start before 5:30 p.m. However, the start could still be postponed. First up is the first semi-final between the Spanish world number one Carlos Alcaraz and the 22-time Grand Slam tournament winner Novak Djokovic from 2.45 p.m.
Zverev and fourth in the world rankings Ruud have faced each other three times so far, and the German has won two duels. However, Ruud won in three sets in their most recent encounter in the Masters quarterfinals in Miami. The two have not yet played against each other on clay.
Zverev's previous Grand Slam semifinals
For Zverev it is the sixth semi-final in one of the four major tournaments. So far, the Hamburger has been able to prevail once.
YearGrand SlamOpponentResult2022French OpenRafael Nadal (Spain)6:7 (8:10), 6:6 Submission Zverev2021US OpenNovak Djokovic (Serbia)6:4, 2:6, 4:6, 6:4, 2:62021French OpenStefanos Tsitsipas (Greece) 3-6 3-6 6-4 6-4 3-62020 US OpenPablo Carreno Busta (Spain)3-6 2-6 6-3 6-4 6-32020Australian OpenDominic Thiem (Austria) 6:3, 4:6, 6:7 (3:7), 6:7 (4:7)
By reaching the semi-finals, Zverev has already added EUR 630,000 to his previous total prize money of almost EUR 34 million. The loser in the final gets 1.15 million euros, the winner doubles: 2.3 million euros.
So far, only three German tennis players have been in the final of the French Open. Michael Stich was the last of them to admit defeat to the Russian Jewgeny Kafelnikov in 1996. Gottfried von Cramm won the title in 1934 and 1936 and lost in the 1935 final. Henner Henkel won the final in 1937.