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Djokovic and Alcaraz meet in French Open semifinals; other matchup is Zverev vs. Ruud


PARIS (AP) — Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz are scheduled to play against each other for the first time in more than a year when they meet in the French Open semifinals.

The much-anticipated showdown is the first singles match on Friday at Court Philippe Chatrier.

It is the 45th Grand Slam semifinal for Djokovic, a 36-year-old from Serbia, and the second for Alcaraz, a 20-year-old from Spain.

Djokovic is hoping to leave Roland Garros this year with his third title in Paris and his 23rd major championship overall, which would break a tie with rival Rafael Nadal for the most by a man in the history of tennis.

The other men's semifinal will follow, pitting No. 4 Casper Ruud, last year's runner-up at Roland Garros, against No. 22 Alexander Zverev. Neither has won a major trophy.

Alcaraz is seeded No. 1, and Djokovic is No. 3. Each has dropped just one set along the way to the semifinals.

They've only faced off once before on tour — on red clay at the Madrid Masters in May 2022. Alcaraz won, round after beating Nadal and one round before beating Zverev for the title there.

It is a matchup worthy of a final, but is happening earlier than that in Paris because they were placed on the same half of the 128-player bracket via a random draw.

How about this for unusual circumstances: Both Djokovic and Alcaraz enter on lengthy Grand Slam winning streaks. Djokovic has won 19 matches in a row at majors, which includes titles at Wimbledon last July and the Australian Open this January.

During that span, though, there also was the U.S. Open, where Djokovic could not play because he was not allowed to travel to the United States at the time as a foreigner who had not been vaccinated against COVID-19. Alcaraz won that tournament, so he is unbeaten in his past 12 Slam matches.


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