Alexander Zverev admits he “wouldn’t bet” on Casper Ruud defeating Novak Djokovic in Sunday’s French Open ultimate however warned the Serb famous person may crack underneath the load of expectation with historical past inside touching distance. Ruud, final yr’s runner-up to Rafael Nadal, reached the ultimate with a cushty 6-3, 6-4, 6-0 over Zverev in Friday’s semi-finals. Djokovic made the ultimate in Paris for a seventh time, and thirty fourth on the Grand Slams, with a four-set conquer an ailing Carlos Alcaraz. Victory on Sunday would give Djokovic a record-breaking twenty third main title and make him the one man to win all 4 Slams on no less than three events.
“Is Novak the favourite? Yes, of course. There is no question about it. He knows how it’s done. He knows how to do it,” mentioned Zverev after dropping within the semi-finals for a 3rd successive yr.
“If I would have to bet money, maybe I wouldn’t bet on Casper too much. Does he have chances? Yes, he does. He’s playing amazing tennis and I think he deserves to be in the final.”
Zverev recalled that in 2021 Djokovic solely wanted to defeat Daniil Medvedev within the US Open ultimate to finish the primary calendar Grand Slam by a person since 1969.
He had already pocketed the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon that yr however Medvedev swept to a straight-sets win within the New York ultimate.
“I think it couldn’t be better for Casper,” added Zverev.
“Novak is one of the best players in the world, that’s for sure, but when you’re on the brink of history I think that adds a little bit of pressure.
“You bear in mind the US Open ultimate he had with Medvedev? The strain, you understand, we’re all human. Novak is human.
“We all feel it. So I think for Casper that’s the best scenario.”
Ruud can be taking part in in his third Grand Slam ultimate in his previous 5 tournaments.
After ending runner-up to Nadal in Paris he then misplaced to Alcaraz within the US Open ultimate.
Nonetheless, he has misplaced all 4 conferences with Djokovic, two of which had been on clay, and has by no means gained a single set.
On Friday, the 24-year-old Norwegian broke Olympic champion Zverev six instances.
“I just went out there and tried to play without thinking too much, trying to play without pressure, and just played really well today,” mentioned Ruud, whose 87 wins on clay are probably the most since 2020.
Ruud has had a difficult yr and arrived in Paris with an underwhelming 16-11 file.
“I didn’t come into Roland Garros thinking I was the favourite to reach the final. It’s been two very fun weeks in Paris and hopefully third time can be a charm for me,” he mentioned.
For Zverev, it was one other bitter end on the identical court docket the place he suffered season-ending ankle ligament injury in his semi-final towards Nadal 12 months in the past.
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