French Open lookahead: Nadal-Zverev, Cilic-Ruud semifinals


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Rafael Nadal will face No. 3 seed Alexander Zverev in one French Open men’s semifinal. No. 20 Marin Cilic will play No. 8 Casper Ruud in the second semifinal in Court Philippe Chatrier on Friday. It is Nadal’s 36th birthday. There is rain in the forecast, so it is a good thing the stadium has a retractable roof. Nadal showed up at Roland Garros with his personal doctor because of chronic pain in his left foot. The Spaniard known as the King of Clay is seeking a 14th French Open trophy and 22nd Grand Slam title overall — both of those numbers would add to records he already holds — and has said repeatedly that he does not know if each match will be his last at the tournament he has dominated for so long. None of the other three players remaining the men’s bracket has participated in a final in Paris. And only Zverev has even been to the semifinals at the clay-court major, losing at that stage a year ago. The 25-year-old German was the runner-up at the 2020 U.S. Open and won a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last summer. Cilic, a 33-year-old from Croatia, won the 2014 U.S. Open and is now one of five active players to get to the final four at least once at each Grand Slam tournament. Ruud is a 23-year-old from Norway who hadn’t been past the fourth round at a Slam until now. The men’s final is Sunday.

Chance of thunderstorms. High of 79 degrees Fahrenheit (26 Celsius).

Women’s Semifinals: No. 1 Iga Swiatek beat No. 20 Daria Kasatkina 6-2, 6-1; No. 18 Coco Gauff beat Martina Trevisan 6-3, 6-1.

Mixed Doubles Final: No. 2 Ena Shibahara and Wesley Koolhof beat Ulrikke Eikeri and Joran Vliegen 7-6 (5), 6-2.

2004 — The last time a player younger than Coco Gauff, an 18-year-old American, played in a Grand Slam final. Maria Sharapova was 17 when she won Wimbledon that year. Gauff faces Iga Swiatek on Saturday at Roland Garros for the title.

“I don’t think I consider myself a veteran. I mean, I do when I step on the court. … I feel like I’ve learned sooner how to handle myself in certain situations than other players have. But I’m still learning, day in and day out.” — Coco Gauff.

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