Novak Djokovic made a huge leap towards a record 23rd men's Grand Slam title with a 6-3 5-7 6-1 6-1 victory against an ailing Carlos Alcaraz in the French Open semi-finals on Friday.
World number one Alcaraz had just levelled the contest when disaster struck as he limped to his bench holding his right leg at 1-1 in the third set.
While he continued playing, the US Open champion was clearly hampered but Djokovic was merciless, dropping only one of 12 games to book a spot for Sunday's showdown against either last year's runner-up Casper Ruud or German Alexander Zverev.
It was unclear whether Alcaraz, who skipped this year's Australian Open because of a hamstring injury, was suffering from cramps or injured.
Later on Friday, a flawless Casper Ruud returned to the French Open final for a second year running by dismantling German 22nd seed Alexander Zverev 6-3 6-4 6-0 in a battle of big-hitters.
Last year's runner-up Ruud swapped early breaks with Zverev before turning up the heat on a warm evening on Court Philippe Chatrier by pounding the German with some vicious, spin-heavy forehands to go up 5-2 en route to claiming the opening set.
Zverev, playing in a third straight Roland Garros semi-final at the scene of his season-ending ankle injury last year, wasted an early opening in the next set and found himself in trouble as fourth seed Ruud snatched another break in the seventh game.
Ruud extended his lead in the match and continued to control the rallies from behind the baseline to frustrate an error-prone Zverev in the next set, before storming into a third Grand Slam final in his last five events going back to Roland Garros 2022. (Reuters)
Last updated: 2023-MM-DD HKT 03:53