It floats like a final scent in the Parisian air this Friday, June 11. Like a dessert before the main course, the Serbian Novak Djokovic, world No. 1, faces in the semi-final the master of the place, the Spaniard Rafael Nadal (3rd), three-time winner of the Grand Slam Porte d’Auteuil. A poster similar to the final of the last edition which saw the Mallorcan triumph in three sets.
As an appetizer, the duel between the outsiders opposing Stefanos Tsitsipas to Alexander Zverev, made the 5,000 spectators of the Philippe-Chatrier court salivate. In a stifling summer heat, the Greek overthrew the German after a marathon match completed in five sets (6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-3) and nearly three hours game forty.
In difficulty on his second service balls in the first sets (28% on average in this sector), Alexander Zverev, seeded No.6, logically conceded the first two innings (6-3, 6-3) after a nineteen of play and yet another forehand sent down the hall.
At the start of the third round, the German giant pressed, from the height of his 1.98 m, his strikes and ended a series of seven lost games (1-1). More aggressive, he came back to two innings everywhere.
In the fifth set, Stefanos Tsitsipas, recent winner of the Masters 1000 on clay in Monte-Carlo and number 1 in the “Race” (the classification established since the 1is January) quickly came off 4-1. With missiles flashed at 216 km / h and 213 km / h, Alexander Zverev dismissed four match points on his serve. A short respite, the Greek slammed an ace and won the match.
For the first time in the final of the Porte d’Auteuil tournament, the young Greek (22 years old) asserts himself more and more as one of the most serious rivals of Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, who total however, at the three of them, 58 Grand Slams. Last year, Tsitsipas lost at the same stage of the competition against a certain… Novak Djokovic. If the Serbian manages to get rid of the “rey de la tierra batida” (the king of the clay), the Greek could take revenge.