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Alcaraz downs Sinner, to face Zverev in French Open final

PARIS, France -- Carlos Alcaraz outlasted Jannik Sinner in an engrossing five-set battle on Friday (Saturday, Manila time) to reach his first French Open final, where he will face Alexander Zverev who beat two-time runner-up Casper Ruud.

The two-time Grand Slam champion trailed 2-1 in sets to incoming world number one Sinner, but rallied in the Paris sunshine to win 2-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 after four hours and nine minutes on Court Philippe Chatrier.

It was another gripping chapter in the pair's burgeoning rivalry, with Alcaraz now leading their head-to-head 5-4.

"I hope to play many, many more matches like this one against Jannik but it's one of the toughest I've played for sure," said Alcaraz.

"I'm really happy about everything I did today. I waited for my moment until I took it."

The 21-year-old will be the favourite heading into Sunday's final as he aims to become the youngest man to win Grand Slam titles on clay, grass and hard courts.

He has won both of his two previous major finals -- at Wimbledon last year and the 2022 US Open.

But Zverev holds a career 5-4 winning record against Alcaraz, including a victory in their only previous Roland Garros meeting in the 2022 quarter-finals.

A German court dropped a case against Zverev over allegations he assaulted an ex-girlfriend earlier on Friday, after a settlement was agreed.

As part of the settlement, Zverev had agreed to pay 200,000 euros ($217,000), with most of it going into state coffers and the remainder to a fund for charitable organisations, a court spokeswoman said.

"I told you so from the start. I told everybody," said Zverev, who had already been fined 450,000 euros in October in the same case.

"I'm happy that it's over. Yeah, nothing else more to say. That's it. Four years. I'm happy about that."

- Alcaraz finds best in key moments -
There are two first-time French Open men's finalists for the first year since Rafael Nadal defeated Mariano Puerta for the first of his 14 titles in 2005.

Italian Sinner, playing in his first Roland Garros semifinal, put up a brave fight but came up just short as he suffered only his third defeat of the season and his first at a Slam this year after winning the