Alcaraz Beats Zverev To Become a First-Time Champion at Roland Garros
Carlos Alcaraz becomes the new Roland Garros champion. June 9, 2024.Paris, France. Photo courtesy: ©CCorinne Dubreuil / FFT / French Open.

World number three Carlos Alcaraz claims his maiden Roland Garros crown by defeating fourth seed Alexander Zverev in Sunday’s final, becoming a three-time Grand Slam champion, his first at the clay major.

Competing for a maiden Coupe des Mousquetaires, third seed Carlos Alcaraz faced off against world No. 4 Alexander Zverev, prevailing with a 6-3, 2-6, 5-7, 6-1, 6-2 victory after four hours and 19 minutes on Court Philippe-Chatrier in Paris.

Alcaraz, who progressed to a maiden French Open final by rallying through five sets against world No. 1 Jannik Sinner, shared his thoughts after their encounter, a message worth remarking.

You have to find the joy (while) suffering. That’s the key, even more on clay, here at Roland Garros. Long rallies. Four-hour matches. Five sets.

You have to fight. You have to suffer. But as I told my team many, many times, you have to enjoy suffering.”

And he fought across another gritting five-setter, showcasing his outstanding talent and passion for the sport.

Alcaraz’s dazzling career now finds him a three-time major winner, conquering the U.S. Open, Wimbledon, and Roland Garros, each while competing in the final for the first time.

The Match As It Happened

A poor start to the opener saw the German falling behind early, broken twice in three service games.

Stepping up the pressure over his adversary Alcaraz led him to misfire with his forehand often.

Meanwhile, the Spaniard stayed calm and collected, displaying his many weapons, like a spectacular backhand volley early on, varying the height and speed of his game before converting a third break at love in the ninth game to secure a 6-3 lead in just 43 minutes.

A tense first game of the second set saw Zverev fighting from 0-40 to force the two-time Slam champion to fend off three break points before holding his ground with a crosscourt backhand winner at 1-0.

After a 21-shot rally, the longest of the match thus far, and a battle at deuce, the Olympic gold medalist even the score.

At this moment, the wind played its role in the championship match, blowing clay around the court; the red dust was everywhere.

Nonetheless, the Italian Open winner held his nerve to break the Spanish player in the fifth game, inching ahead 3-2.

Then, the Hamburg-born found consistency and confidence in his booming serve while adjusting his game to take control of the set, shifting momentum in his direction.

In the seventh game, Alcaraz, whose timing was off, committed his third double fault, handing over a double break to his opponent.

On the other side of the net, the four-time Roland Garros semifinalist seized his chances, serving the set out at love.

He closed out 6-2 in 52 minutes to square the final at one set apiece.

An edgy third set went with serves, Zverev challenging the 21-year-old return game along the way, who worked around the net to stay the course.

The Murcia native found breathing room in the sixth game to earn the break and held at 5-2.

The inflection point of the set saw the 27-year-old putting in motion a staggering recovery, standing tall when it mattered most.

The 22-ATP titlist raised his level to win five straight games - breaking twice - saving a break point in the 12th game to steal the third 7-5, coming out on top two sets to one.

The talented Spanish start regrouped fast, breaking twice in the fourth set, rushing to open a 4-0 advantage, using his trademark drop shots with precision.

Once Zverev broke back to narrow the gap at 1-4, the physio treated Alcaraz’s left thigh.

As the medical time-out concluded, play resumed with the 2020 U.S. Open finalist on serve. But the Spaniard neutralized his rival, breaking again, following to serve for the set.

Unable to hold off the Indian Wells reigning champion, the former world number one went the distance to notch the set 6-1 after 40 minutes, sending a rollercoaster championship match to a five-set decider.

A double fault cost the fourth seed the third set, down 1-2 in the last set.

In the next set, Zverev missed four break points opportunities, opportunities he could not afford against an inspired Alcaraz, wise on defense, closing the door from all angles.

He stayed in contention, narrowing the gap to 2-3 in an engaging final contest with nothing but the title at stake.

The unrelenting third seed saved a break point in a monumental sixth game, pushing further to break with a powerful forehand down-the-line shot, jumping ahead 5-2 with a hand in the trophy.

Alcaraz dug deep, staying perfect to seal the triumph 6-2.

He hit 52 winners to 56 unforced errors, converted nine of 16 break points, and won 65 percent of the points on his first serve.

The Road to the Trophy

Alcaraz’s run in Paris would see him becoming the youngest man to reach a Slam title match on three surfaces.

He cruised into the last four, battling back from a set down against Italian Sinner in a five-set win on Friday.

Previously, he left behind ninth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, American Sebastian Korda, and Canadian Felix-Auger Aliassime in straight sets.

He opened against Jesper De Jong, taking the first steps towards a remarkable feat.

From Monday, Alcaraz will rise to world No. 2 while Sinner becomes the new ranking leader.

Cecilia demartini
Sports Pundit staff writer @ceci_2812
Cecilia is a writer and journalist, passionate about motorsport and tennis.Her articles are published in newspapers and international online publications.

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