• Monday, June 24, 2024

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Alcaraz beats Zverev in 5 sets to clinch maiden French Open

Alcaraz now holds the Roland Garros crown, the Wimbledon title he won against Novak Djokovic last year, and the 2022 US Open.

Alcaraz recovered from 2-1 down in sets and battled cramps to win 6-3, 2-6, 5-7, 6-1, 6-2 after four hours and 19 minutes on Court Philippe Chatrier. (Photo: Getty Images)

By: Vivek Mishra

CARLOS ALCARAZ overcame Alexander Zverev in a five-set French Open final on Sunday, becoming the youngest man to win Grand Slam titles on all three surfaces.

The 21-year-old recovered from 2-1 down in sets and battled cramps to win 6-3, 2-6, 5-7, 6-1, 6-2 after four hours and 19 minutes on Court Philippe Chatrier.

“Something that I dreamt about, being in this position, since I was started playing tennis, since I was five, six years old. So it’s a great, great feeling,” said Alcaraz.

Alcaraz now holds the Roland Garros crown, the Wimbledon title he won against Novak Djokovic last year, and the 2022 US Open. He will head to the Australian Open next year with the chance to become the youngest man to complete the career Grand Slam.

Fourth seed Zverev, who recently settled a court case in Germany over domestic abuse allegations, is still seeking his first major title. He had previously lost his only other Slam final in five sets, blowing a two-set lead against Dominic Thiem at the 2020 US Open.

Zverev had high hopes of breaking his Slam final curse but Alcaraz proved too strong, evening their head-to-head record at 5-5. “It’s been amazing. The atmosphere, the support has been amazing,” said the 27-year-old.

Alcaraz expressed his desire to join the list of Spanish men’s players, including his idol Rafael Nadal, to win the Roland Garros title. He celebrated by falling to the clay with his head in his hands. “Congratulations Carlos for this immense victory! Wonderful! Very happy for your successes! Vamos,” tweeted Nadal.

Zverev had a difficult start, double-faulting on the first two points of the match and being broken in the opening game. Alcaraz also faced nerves, framing a forehand into the stands and double-faulting to return the break. However, Alcaraz found his rhythm, breaking to love in the fifth game and taking the first set.

In the second set, Alcaraz saved three break points in a 10-minute first game but slipped 3-2 behind after another failed forehand. Zverev took advantage, breaking again and winning the second set with a hold to love.

The German continued his strong form into the third set, securing three successive love holds. Alcaraz managed to stay in contention, celebrating a tough service game with a fist pump. Alcaraz broke to love but failed to serve out the set, losing five games in a row to concede the third set.

Alcaraz broke for a 2-0 lead in the fourth set with a curling winner, following a disputed line call that frustrated Zverev. Alcaraz took the fourth set decisively, despite requiring medical treatment for cramps.

Zverev, who had a strong five-set record at Roland Garros, handed Alcaraz a break in the fifth set’s third game. Alcaraz faced break points in the next game but a crucial overrule by the chair umpire, later confirmed incorrect by Hawkeye, allowed him to hold serve.

Alcaraz broke again in game seven and clinched the match with a powerful forehand.

(AFP)

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