Results from the 2023 French Open: Novak Djokovic advances to the final due to Carlos Alcaraz’s injury
After advancing to the French Open final by defeating Carlos Alcaraz in a match that was marred by the Spaniard’s injury, Novak Djokovic is one victory away from a record 23rd men’s major championship.
Alcaraz withdrew with cramp early in the third set, leaving an entertaining encounter finely poised at one set apiece.
He did so twice after receiving treatment, but Serbia’s Djokovic capitalized on the situation to easily win 6-3 5-7 6-1 6-1.
In the final on Sunday, Djokovic, 36, will face either Casper Ruud or Alexander Zverev.
Ruud, the fourth seed from Norway, lost in the final the year before. Zverev, the 22nd seed from Germany, is back in the semi-finals after suffering a major ankle injury on the court at the same stage the year before.
Coincidentally, this year’s first semi-final was also ended early by a physical ailment before Zverev’s return to the final four; however, top seed Alcaraz’s issue was not as serious as the German’s injury, which prevented him from competing for several months.
However, it was sufficient to ruin a meeting that was developing into a classic.
In his on-court interview, Djokovic remarked, “First and foremost, I have to say good luck to Carlos.
“Cramping and bodily issues are the last things you want at this level. I feel for him, I’m sorry for him, and I hope he gets better quickly so he can return.
“He knows how young he is, he’s got plenty of time ahead of him, and he will win this tournament many times.”
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On Djokovic’s second match point, Alcaraz, 20, forehanded the ball into the net while bending his head and stumbling toward the net, where the third seed was waiting to embrace the younger opponent.
Alcaraz was cheered as he left the court by the audience and Djokovic, but only after the two-time champion was booed for pointing to the sky to mark reaching another final.
As Djokovic took the post-match microphone, the atmosphere became more joyous as supporters chanted the former world number one’s name.
Congratulations to him for displaying grit and perseverance, said Djokovic. “It is difficult for him to decide whether to retire or finish the match.”
I simply tried to maintain concentration, be in the moment, and avoid thinking too much about what was occurring on the other side of the net.