Alexander Zverev encountered some challenges on Wednesday, but he displayed his resilience to reach the semi-finals at Roland Garros for the third consecutive year.
In a fierce baseline battle against Tomas Martin Etcheverry, Zverev weathered the attacking onslaught from the Argentine to emerge victorious with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 triumph on Court Philippe-Chatrier.
Zverev expressed his preference for playing during the day, stating, “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 happy to be in the semi-finals at Roland Garros.”
Reflecting on a crucial game in the fourth set, Zverev described it as “incredible” from both players. He acknowledged the powerful shots exchanged and believed that he deserved the victory.
With this hard-fought win that lasted three hours and 22 minutes, Zverev improved his Roland Garros record to 28 wins and 7 losses. Additionally, he climbed four places to reach No. 23 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings. Zverev will now face either Casper Ruud or Holger Rune in his pursuit of a maiden major title on Friday.
Etcheverry, who reached clay-court finals in Santiago and Houston earlier this year, experienced his first major quarter-final appearance. The 23-year-old displayed an aggressive style of play, particularly with his powerful forehand, which troubled Zverev.
After splitting the first two sets, Zverev found his rhythm and dominated the third set. Overcoming a 0-2 deficit, he won five consecutive games, striking 12 winners and showcasing effective net play by winning 86 percent of net points. In the fourth set, Zverev maintained consistency, minimizing errors and saving all four break points he faced. This secured his 21st win of the season and 13th on clay.
Zverev praised Etcheverry’s performance, comparing him to Juan Martin del Potro and acknowledging his potential to reach higher ranks and win significant tournaments.
Looking ahead, Zverev aims to make a strong comeback after suffering a right ankle injury in the semi-finals against Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros in 2022. Following a six-month recovery period, the 26-year-old returned to the Tour in January and has gradually regained his form. He reached the fourth round at ATP Masters 1000 events in Madrid and Rome before arriving in Paris, where he reached the semi-finals in Geneva the previous week.
As the 22nd seed, Zverev seeks to claim his first title since the Nitto ATP Finals in 2021. His progress in this tournament includes victories over seeds Frances Tiafoe and Grigor Dimitrov.
Reflecting on the past year, Zverev described it as the most challenging period of his life. He expressed his deep love for tennis and the competitiveness that was temporarily taken away, making his current stage of the tournament even more meaningful.
Etcheverry, who had never won a match at Roland Garros prior to this year, made an impressive mark by defeating notable opponents such as Jack Draper, Alex de Minaur, Borna Coric, and Yoshihito Nishioka in Paris. As a result of his successful run, the 23-year-old climbed 18 spots in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings to reach No. 31, achieving a career-high ranking of No. 46 last month.