Fourth seed Casper Ruud and 22nd seed Alexander Zverev' meeting will highlight Friday action at the French Open semifinals. The winner of this match will advance to the final to play either top seed Carlos Alcaraz or third seed Novak Djokovic. Casper Ruud was a losing finalist last season at Roland Garros and will aim to go one better this time round. The Norwegian defeated sixth seed Holger Rune in four sets in the quarterfinals and is in this round for only the second time. Ruud has claimed two straight-set wins so far and his performances have seen him get back into the ATP top five. He has however dropped one place to fifth in the live ranking after losing 480 ranking points. The 24-year-old has thrived on clay once again where 16 of his 21 wins have come and has so far won one title. Ruud and Zverev have played each other three times before but never on clay. Ruud won once, in Miami last season, which was the last time they met.
What would have been their first ever meeting ended as a walkover in Zverev's favor. However, on the court, Zverev won the first two meetings with Ruud and will feel confident about bouncing back in this fixture. Before arriving at Roland Garros, the German had not won more than three consecutive matches. However, he has dropped just two sets so far in five matches here. One of those dropped sets was against Tomas Etcheverry in the previous round. Zverev’s struggles this season had seen him drop out of the ATP top 60 but he has since moved up to 23rd in the live ranking. He can get back into the top 20 with a win on Friday. Zverev has a record of 20 wins and 13 losses with 13 of his victories coming on clay. This is the third consecutive season that he has made it this far. Last season was particularly a painful experience for him as he suffered a career-threatening injury. This should act as extra motivation for him here.
This match sees two big players face off and it could go either way. Once handed a walkover over Ruud, Zverev has defeated Ruud twice on the court, and will feel confident coming here. He has also looked more composed in Paris, losing fewer sets and games than Ruud. Our prediction for Casper Ruud v Alexander Zverev is for Zverev to win.