Alcaraz vs. Djokovic; Zverev vs. Ruud: 2023 French Open Men’s Semifinal Preview

Alcaraz vs. Djokovic; Zverev vs. Ruud: 2023 French Open Men’s Semifinal Preview

4 min read

Top seed Carlos Alcaraz is the man to beat at the 2023 French Open, according to Universal Tennis INSIGHTS. Let’s dive deep into the numbers and preview Friday’s men’s semifinals.

(1) Carlos Alcaraz (16.41) vs. (3) Novak Djokovic (16.33)

The tennis world has been waiting for this one. It has been over a year since Alcaraz and Djokovic faced off in the Madrid semifinals in May 2022. Alcaraz took their first contest in three and a half hours, winning 6-7(5), 7-5, 7-6(5).

But Friday’s tilt will be a much different occasion. They’ll again face off on clay, but Djokovic is eyeing his third French Open title and looking to become the first man in tennis history to win all four Grand Slam titles three times. In addition, he’s aiming to create separation between his biggest rival, Rafael Nadal, by winning his 23rd Grand Slam title.



The Serbian dropped his first set of the fortnight in his semifinal against Karen Khachanov but rallied to win three straight. Djokovic said of his Alcaraz semifinal: “If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best. He's definitely a guy to beat here. I'm looking forward to that.”

Alcaraz, meanwhile, is trying to reach his second Grand Slam final and win his second major championship after taking the 2022 US Open title. The 20-year-old routed 2021 French Open finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semifinals 6-2, 6-1, 7-6(5) and has been eagerly awaiting another matchup against the 36-year-old Djokovic.



“Since the draw came out, everyone was expecting that match, you know, the semifinal against Novak. Myself as well. I really want to play that match. Since last year I really wanted to play again against Novak,” Alcaraz said.

INSIGHTS has the semifinal at almost a toss-up, with the Alcaraz a 54% favorite to reach his first French Open final.

(4) Casper Ruud (15.92) vs. (22) Alexander Zverev (15.97)

The last time Zverev played in a French Open semifinal, he left the court on crutches. But the 22nd seed will have a chance at redemption just 12 months after having to retire against Rafael Nadal in the 2022 French Open semifinals because of torn ligaments in his right ankle.

“I couldn't play for the first seven months of my injury. Then for the next three, four months, I was still in pain, so I wasn't pain-free. I wasn't able to move the way I wanted to,” Zverev said. “But, again, I think I'm at a stage now where I'm not thinking about the injury so much anymore. I'm not thinking about what happened. I'm just happy to be back where I was last year, and I have another chance. Hopefully, I can take it.”

Zverev is looking to make his second major championship final, having reached the same stage at the 2020 US Open before falling to Dominic Thiem. Zverev faces 2022 French Open finalist Ruud in another near-toss-up semifinal.



Zverev leads their head-to-head 2-1, but Ruud won their most recent contest in the Miami quarterfinals in March. INSIGHTS has Zverev as a slight favorite at 53%.

“Ruud has been there before,” Zverev said. “He was in the final here last year, so he knows exactly what it means and what it takes.”

•UTR Ratings and INSIGHTS probabilities as of 3:30 p.m. EST, June 8, 2023.

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