Roland-Garros 2023 heats up as we go into the final weekend
The sun has been shining brightly throughout Roland-Garros 2023 and the tennis itself has lived up to the beautiful Parisian weather. With the ‘king of clay’ Rafael Nadal ruled out before the tournament began, you could have forgiven tennis fans for being less optimistic about this year’s tournament. However, even without its biggest star of the past two decades, Roland-Garros has once again delivered a superb two weeks of elite clay-court tennis.
World Number 1 Carlos Alcaraz led the talk surrounding Roland-Garros throughout the first week of the tournament. Now as we head towards the final weekend, the young Spaniard has once again proven his enormous potential as he eased past fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets on the Philippe-Chatrier court. The fiery Greek has proven a tough test for many opponents on the Grand Slam scene but was no match for 20-year-old Alcaraz, who appears to have the world at his feet.
Alcaraz has now set up a mouth-watering semi-final clash with 22-time Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic. Serbia’s Djokovic survived a quarter-final scare from Karen Khachanov, almost falling two sets behind before coming back in classic Djokovic style to keep his bid for a record 23rd men’s Grand Slam singles title alive. This semi-final clash is one which was highly anticipated when the schedules were announced. Set to be the match of the tournament, it could prove a passing-of-the-torch moment from the old guard Djokovic, to the new, Alcaraz. Whoever wins is sure to be the favourite going into the final to face the winner of the other semi-final between fourth seed Norwegian Casper Ruud and German outsider Alexander Zverez.
For the Brits, it hasn’t been as successful a tournament with British hope, Cameron Norrie, exiting in the third round and no British women in the singles draw for the first time in 14 years at a Grand Slam tournament. Yet there has still been some outstanding tennis to witness for travelling fans from the UK. The women’s draw has always been a more open affair with a vast array of winners in previous years. However last year’s winner, Iga Świątek, is looking to change that by establishing her own era of dominance on clay. At just 22 years of age, the rising Polish tennis star, who also won the tournament in 2020, has taken Paris by storm. She beat American Coco Gauff in straight sets and in doing so reached the third Roland-Garros semi-final of her young career. She will face 14th seed Beatriz Haddad Maia in the semis. The winner will face underdog Czech Karolína Muchová in the final, who stunned World Number 2, Aryna Sabalenka, to reach her first ever Grand Slam Final.
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