Tim Henman fires demand to Alexander Zverev in stark French Open warning | Tennis | Sport

Tim Henman has told Alexander Zverev he needs to “step it up” if he wants to overcome Casper Ruud in the French Open semi-finals. The match will see the two players going head-to-head in their second consecutive last four showdown at Roland Garros, with Ruud blasting his opponent off the court in straight sets when they met in 2023.

Zverev, 27, has been in fine form throughout the second Grand Slam of the year and secured his safe passage to Friday’s semi-final after defeating Alex de Minaur 6-4, 7-6, 6-4.

Ruud, meanwhile, booked his place in the last four courtesy of a walkover after reigning champion Novak Djokovic was forced to pull out of the quarter-finals through injury.

And Henman, who reached six Grand Slam semi-finals, told Eurosport: “When you win in three straight sets in a Grand Slam quarter-final, you’ve got to be playing pretty well.

“I think the interesting thing for Zverev is he can play better. I think he can serve a bit more consistently, he can be more aggressive.

“It was good enough to get the job done against Alex de Minaur. I think against Casper Ruud he needs to step it up and I think he will.”

Meanwhile, two-time French Open finalist Alex Corretja told the media outlet: “Casper is a little more fresh. He had a tough match against [Taylor] Fritz [in the fourth round] but then he recovered because he didn’t play against Novak so I think he’s going to try to dictate.

“I think, physically, if I would be Casper, I would try to dictate and move him and make him feel tiredness all the time.

“For Sascha [Zverev], he needs to do different things but not that many different things because, at the end of the day, you have your DNA. You know a little bit of the tactics and you need to stick with that. Every year is different, every match is different.”

Zverev’s focus will be firmly on Friday’s showdown after he reached an out-of-court settlement with his former girlfriend following accusations that he strangled her in Berlin four years ago. The case returned to court last week.

And after his victory over De Minaur, he told reporters: “They made it very clear from the beginning that I don’t have to be there [in court].

“You know, I think everything is going accordingly. Everything is going okay from my side and from my point of view. There’s nothing else to say.”

Source link