French Open: Zverev battle past Etcheverry to face Ruud in semis

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Alexander Zverev (R) shakes hands with Argentina's Tomas Martin Etcheverry after his victory | AFP

Paris: Alexander Zverev on Court Philippe-Chatrier produced a fine heavy-hitting performance to battle past Tomas Martin Etcheverry to reach the semifinal of the ongoing French Open 2023.

On Court Philippe-Chatrier, Zverev prevailed 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 despite the Argentine's relentless attack in a match that lasted for three-hour, 22 minutes. Zverev will continue the quest for his maiden major title when he meets Casper Ruud on Friday.

Etcheverry was taking part in his first major quarter-final after making it to the finals on clay in Houston and Santiago earlier this year. The 23-year-old played aggressively against Zverev, letting go on the forehand to trouble the German, and didn't drop a set on his way to the round of eight.

Zverev started to get into his flow after the opening two sets were divided. The German rallied to win the third set after falling behind 0-2 in games. The fourth game saw Zverev remain steady, minimising errors off his backhand wing and preserving all four break points he was presented with to claim his 21st victory.

"The conditions during the day are a lot better for me. The ball is a lot faster and bounces higher. I love to play on clay and day conditions are better... I am in the semi-finals at Roland Garros and I am happy about that," quoted Zverev as saying.

"The 5-4 game [in the fourth set] was incredible from both of us. He was hitting the ball extremely hard and I was hitting the ball extremely hard. At the end of the day I think I deserved to win," he added.

"He is playing incredible tennis. He reminds me a lot of [Juan Martin] del Potro. The way he plays and the way he hits his forehand. He is an incredible player. I think if he continues to play like this he will be in the quarter-finals here a lot more and he can be Top 10 and win big tournaments. He proved it this week and I wish him nothing but the best," Zverev said when asked about Etcheverry.

"It was the most difficult year of my life. I love tennis with all my heart and the competitiveness that was taken away a year ago. I am so happy to be back at this stage," Zverev said when reflecting on the past year. (ANI)

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