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InternationalCarlos Alcaraz Outlasts Zverev to Claim First Roland-Garros Crown

Carlos Alcaraz Outlasts Zverev to Claim First Roland-Garros Crown

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Spaniard Secures Third Major Title, Cements Place Among Tennis Elite

Paris, June 9th, 2024 — Carlos Alcaraz, the prodigious talent from Spain, clinched his first Roland-Garros title on Sunday, outlasting Germany’s Alexander Zverev in an epic five-set battle. With this victory, Alcaraz added the coveted Paris trophy to his growing collection, which already includes titles from the US Open and Wimbledon.

The 21-year-old emerged victorious with a scoreline of 6-3, 2-6, 5-7, 6-1, 6-2, after four hours and 19 minutes of grueling play. His triumph marks a significant moment for Spanish tennis, coming just two years after the legendary Rafael Nadal claimed his 14th French Open title.

Reflecting on his journey, a visibly emotional Alcaraz said, “Since I was a little kid finishing school and running just to put the TV on to watch this tournament, now I’m lifting the trophy in front of all of you. It’s been unbelievable, the support I receive. I feel like home.”

Breaking New Ground

Unlike Nadal, whose first trio of Grand Slam victories were all secured on the clay courts of Roland-Garros, Alcaraz’s third major triumph came on a different surface, underscoring his versatility and promise. At 21 years and one month old, Alcaraz became the youngest man to win a major on three different surfaces, surpassing Nadal’s record set at the 2009 Australian Open by 18 months.

Zverev, gracious in defeat, praised his opponent: “Third Grand Slam, 21 years old, it’s incredible. You won three different ones. It’s an amazing career already. You’re already a Hall of Famer and you’ve already achieved so much.”

The Final Clash

Their last major encounter, in the Australian Open quarter-finals earlier this year, saw Zverev triumph. However, the script was different in Paris. Alcaraz broke Zverev’s serve multiple times in the opening set, setting the tone for the encounter.

Zverev, riding a 12-match winning streak from his Rome Masters title, mounted a strong comeback in the second set, leveling the match after 96 minutes. But as the match extended into the third set, Alcaraz began to experience physical discomfort.

Despite receiving treatment for a left groin complaint, Alcaraz demonstrated remarkable resilience. He embraced the challenge, rallying from a two-sets-to-one deficit for the second consecutive match, reminiscent of his comeback against Jannik Sinner in the semi-final.

A Historic Achievement

In the deciding set, Alcaraz’s energy surged. He consolidated a break at 3-1 with a deft drop shot, igniting the crowd and cruising to a double break. The match concluded with Alcaraz securing victory, etching his name alongside his coach, Juan Carlos Ferrero, as a Roland-Garros champion.

Acknowledging the hard work and teamwork that propelled him to this triumph, Alcaraz stated, “It’s been incredible work the last month. We were struggling a lot with the injury. I’m really grateful to have the team that I have. Everyone in my team is giving their heart to make me improve as a player and as a person. I call you a team but it’s a family.”

A New Era in Men’s Tennis

This final was the first in Paris in 20 years that did not feature any of the ‘Big Three’—Nadal, Novak Djokovic, or Roger Federer. Alcaraz’s victory is a strong signal that he is poised to lead the new generation of tennis stars. As the seventh man in the Open Era and the first since Stan Wawrinka in 2016 to win Grand Slam titles on three different surfaces, Alcaraz’s future looks extraordinarily bright.

With his latest victory, Carlos Alcaraz has not only fulfilled his childhood dream but also solidified his place as a formidable force in tennis, embodying the spirit and determination of his idol, Rafael Nadal.

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