Caroline Garcia Named to France’s Olympic Tennis Team for 2024 Paris Games

Caroline Garcia will be competing at the upcoming Paris Olympics.

The 20-year-old Spanish-French tennis player, a two-time French Open doubles champion, has been selected to France’s tennis team for the 2024 Paris Games on Friday but not her frequent partner Kristina Mladenovic.

Caroline GarciaGarcia and Mladenovic won at Roland Garros — the Olympic venue next month — in 2016 and 2022. Their most recent Grand Slam appearance was at the Australian Open, where they reached the quarterfinals. They haven’t played together on tour since February.

Mladenovic is a former doubles No. 1 who has slipped to No. 55. She has nine Grand Slam doubles titles, including four French.

Garcia played only singles at the French Open this year and bowed out in the second round.

She will play the Olympic doubles with Diane Parry. Also on the women’s team were Clara Burel and Varvara Gracheva. 

Olympic tennis starts July 27.

Carlos Alcaraz Outlasts Alexander Zverev to Win History-Making French Open Title

Carlos Alcaraz is celebrating a historic win at the French Open.

The 21-year-old Spanish tennis player defeated Alexander Zverev in five sets to capture the title at Roland Garros on Sunday to become the youngest man to win Grand Slam titles on all three surfaces.

Carlos AlcarazAlcaraz and Zverev battled for 4 hours, 19 minutes, but Alcaraz came through 6-3, 2-6, 5-7, 6-1, 6-2.

His 2024 French Open title sits alongside his triumphs at the 2022 US Open and at last year’s Wimbledon.

“Winning a Grand Slam is always special,” Alcaraz said afterward. “Winning your first in every Grand Slam is always super special.

“But in Roland Garros, knowing all the Spanish players who have won this tournament and be able to put my name on that amazing list is something unbelievable. Something that I dream about being in this position since I was started playing tennis, since I was 5, 6 years old.”

Carlos AlcarazThe triumph secures Alcaraz’s spot in tennis history, as he becomes the seventh player to win a Slam event on all three surfaces — following in the footsteps of Jimmy Connors, Mats Wilander, Andre AgassiRoger FedererRafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. But he’s the youngest to achieve the feat, having turned 21 in May.

Nadal completed his trio at 22 years, 7 months when he won the 2009 Australian Open.

Alcaraz said the French Open meant the most to him, given that he came into the competition with injury concerns.

“Probably this one is the moment that I’m really proud about myself, because everything that I have done the last month just to be ready for this tournament with my team, a lot of talks with them,” Alcaraz said. “So I’m going to say this one is the most that I am proud about myself.”

It was Zverev’s second Grand Slam final, but he has now lost both in five sets, having fallen in the 2020 US Open final to Dominic Thiem.

“It is what it is,” Zverev said. “Look, he played fantastic. He played better than me the fourth and fifth set. It’s how it is. I felt like this Grand Slam final I did everything I could. At the US Open I kind of gave it away myself. It’s a bit different.”

Alcaraz, meanwhile, became the first man at the French Open to win five-set matches in both the semifinal and final since Rod Laver in 1962 — and just the eighth to do it in any Grand Slam event since the Open era began in 1968.

Alcaraz came into this event managing an arm injury that had forced him to withdraw from the Monte Carlo Masters and Barcelona Open. He lost in Madrid to Andrey Rublev and withdrew from Rome with the same injury. So he had only four matches on clay coming into the tournament, but he came through the opening rounds in confident form despite saying he was unable to hit his forehand at full power. He dispatched J.J. WolfJesper De Jong, Seb Korda, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Stefanos Tsitsipas en route to a semifinal with incumbent world No.1 Jannik Sinner, but Alcaraz came through 2-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.

Zverev won the Italian Open and then opened his Roland Garros campaign by defeating 14-time champion Nadal in the first round. He then got past David GoffinTallon GriekspoorHolger Rune, Alex de Minaur and Casper Ruud to book his spot in the final.

Alcaraz started Sunday’s match as the better of the two players, taking the first set 6-1. He was then up a break in the second, only for Zverev to win the next five games. The same thing happened in the third set, with Alcaraz up 5-2, only to lose 7-5.

Alcaraz had treatment on his left leg during the break, and continued to have physio work at changeovers.

“It was something that I started to feel in the semifinal,” Alcaraz said. “Playing five sets, it’s demanding. After the match you’re going to feel something. If not, you’re not human.”

After taking the fourth set 6-1, Alcaraz started the fifth in the ascendancy and went up a break, but Zverev threatened to break back.

Down 2-1, Zverev had two break points, and thought he’d won the game when Alcaraz double-faulted at 15-40. The ball was called out, only for umpire Renaud Lichtenstein to overrule that and deem it in, meaning the point would be replayed.

Zverev claimed later that he’d seen footage showing that the ball was in fact out.

“I mean, look, there’s a difference whether you’re down 3-1 in the fifth set or you’re back to 2-all. That’s a deciding difference,” Zverev said afterward. “Yeah, it’s frustrating in the end, but it is what it is. Umpires make mistakes. They’re also human, and that’s OK. But of course, in a situation like that, you wish there wouldn’t be mistakes.”

From there, Alcaraz saved four break points in that game and went on to close out the fifth set to secure the title and improve his record to 11-1 in five-set matches.

“I know that when I’m playing a fifth set, you have to give everything, you have to give your heart,” Alcaraz said. “In those moments, it’s where the top players give their best tennis. I want to be one of the best tennis players in the world, so have to give my extra in those moments and show the opponent I’m fresh — like I’m playing in the first game of a match.”

Alcaraz now plans to get a tattoo of Sunday’s date — June 9, 2024 — to go with the dates from his other two Grand Slams.

“I will do it for sure,” said Alcaraz, whose US Open tattoo is on the back of his neck. “[This tattoo] will be on the left ankle, Wimbledon was on the right one, this will be on the left one, with the date of today. It’s something I’m going to do. I don’t know if it’ll take a month, or two months, but I’ll do it.

“I just want to keep going, and let’s see how many Grand Slams I’m going to take at the end of my career. Hopefully reach the 24, but right now I’m going to enjoy my third one, and let’s see in the future.”

Marcelo Arevalo Claims Second Career Men’s Doubles Title at French Open

Marcelo Arevalo is celebrating a second double’s title at the French Open

The 33-year-old Salvadoran professional tennis player and Mate Pavic of Croatia won the men’s doubles title at Roland Garros against Italians Simone Bolelli and Andrea Vavassori 7-5, 6-3 in the final on Saturday.

Marcelo Arevalo & Mate PavicPavic completed the set of winning all four Grand Slam titles in men’s doubles and rushed to celebrate with his team on Court Philippe Chatrier.

“First (title) for me here, so I’m very happy,” Pavic said. “It feels special. I lost here twice the final.”

Arevalo grabbed a scarf with his country’s name on it, raised it aloft and chanted “Salvador, Salvador.”

It was Arevalo’s second men’s doubles title after winning at Roland Garros in 2022 with Jean-Julien Rojer.

“I want to thank Mate for trusting me and believing in me, to fight together. We did it together, man,” an emotional Arevalo said. “My second title here also feels special.”

With Arevalo serving for the match at 40-30, Pavic missed a straightforward-looking volley. The ball clipped the top of the net, landed on the wrong side, and Pavic put his hand over his mouth in disbelief.

But Pavic, the reigning Olympic champion in men’s doubles, made up for it moments later by saving a break point with a difficult smash down the middle when leaning backward.

They won on the second match point when Vavassori hit a forehand wide, and the ninth-seeded winners both fell to the red clay.

Bolelli is a former singles player who reached a highest ranking of No. 36 but did not win a title in singles. He won the Australian Open men’s doubles in 2015 alongside countryman Fabio Fognini and has reached the semifinals in doubles at every Grand Slam tournament.

Vavassori has lost both major finals he has played in men’s doubles. They were seeded 11th.

Carlos Alcaraz Outlasts Jannik Sinner to Reach First-Ever French Open Final

Carlos Alcaraz has advanced to his first-ever French Open final.

Despite starting poorly and falling behind by two sets to one in his French Open semifinal against Jannik Sinner, the 21-year-old Spanish tennis player ultimately persevered.

Carlos AlcarazAlcaraz pulled out a 2-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory over Sinner to get to his first final in Paris, making him the youngest man to reach a Grand Slam title match on three surfaces.

By the end of the latest installment in this burgeoning rivalry between two young, talented players, an engaging five-setter that lasted 4 hours, 9 minutes, Alcaraz actually had accumulated fewer total points, 147-145.

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

He won championships at the US Open in 2022 on hard courts and at Wimbledon in 2023 on grass.

Now the No. 3-seeded Alcaraz will face No. 4 Alexander Zverev of Germany on the red clay Sunday.

This will be the first French Open men’s final without Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic or Roger Federer since 2004.

Djokovic was the defending champion in Paris, but withdrew before the quarterfinals after tearing the meniscus in his right knee. B

In the fifth set, with shadows covering more than half the court, Alcaraz moved out front by sliding until he could reach across his body to snap a backhand passing winner for a break point. A forehand winner — one of his 30 in the match — made it 2-0 at the 3½-hour mark, earning a yell of “Vamos!” from his coach, 2003 French Open champion Juan Carlos Ferrero.

Soon, it was 3-0, and Alcaraz was on his way.

“It was a great match. For sure, the sets he won, he played better in the important points,” Sinner said. “That was the key.”

Both players walloped the ball with such force that the ball-off-strings thuds elicited gasps from spectators in the middle of points.

Sinner, his rust-colored shirt a few shades darker than the clay, came out ready at the start of the match, barely ever missing, gliding more than grinding along the baseline and stretching his long limbs to get to nearly everything Alcaraz offered.

Alcaraz, his right arm covered by a white sleeve, would deliver a powerful shot to a corner, punctuated with a grunt, and Sinner would somehow get to it, flip it back and draw a mistake.

Sinner led 4-0, and it took Alcaraz 20 minutes of striving to simply place a “1” beside his name on the scoreboard. The second set began inauspiciously for Alcaraz, who fell behind 2-0.

“I told myself,” Alcaraz said, “that it’s going to be a long match.”

He did not go quietly. Getting more aggressive and doing what he could to shorten points, Alcaraz turned things around right when he needed to, using a five-game run to take control of that set.

After Sinner took the third, Alcaraz pushed the proceedings to a fifth. He closed the fourth with a cross-court backhand winner, then raised his right fist and shook it.

Here’s how Alcaraz came through: He came up with a 32-23 edge in winners over the last two sets.

With his strokes, somehow, gaining zest, and the fans, somehow, getting louder, Alcaraz advanced at a tournament he grew up watching on TV at home in Spain as his countryman Nadal piled up a record 14 titles.

Not that it was easy.

“It’s one of the toughest matches that I’ve played, for sure,” Alcaraz said. “The toughest matches that I played in my short career have been against Jannik.”

Rafael Nadal Outlasts Pedro Cachin to Reach Round of 16 at Madrid Open

Rafael Nadal’s optimism is on the rise…

After spending more than three hours on court and earning a hard-fought win, the 37-year-old Spanish professional tennis star is feeling optimistic.

Rafael NadalNadal’s body withstood its toughest test yet at the Madrid Open as he needed three sets to get past 91st-ranked Pedro Cachin on Monday.

Nadal didn’t show any signs of physical limitations as he won 6-1, 6-7 (5), 6-3 to make it to the round of 16 at the clay-court tournament where he is the record five-time champion.

“It’s positive, now I don’t feel that something went wrong on my body, but I need to wait until tomorrow, being 100% honest,” he said. “I am trying my best to keep dreaming. Tomorrow is another day to keep dreaming. To keep playing in front of this amazing crowd and, to me, that means everything.”

Nadal will next face 31st-ranked Jiri Lehecka.

He said he needs “to find a way to be able to play days in a row and still be competitive.”

“I don’t know if I am in that moment yet,” the 22-time Grand Slam champion said. “Let’s see what can happen tomorrow. But I going to try. I going to do the things the right way to try to be ready for tomorrow.”

Nadal is trying to get in shape for next month’s French Open. Since his latest injury layoff, he’s had two matches in Barcelona and was pessimistic about his physical condition after arriving in Madrid. But he’s won three more times in the capital.

Nadal again looked comfortable early on against Cachin. The Argentine fought back in the second set but was broken twice while serving for the set. Cachin eventually prevailed in the tiebreaker.

Nadal didn’t look as loose in the final set, but did look tired. He wasn’t as consistent with his shots but picked up three breaks to seal the victory to the delight of the local crowd in the Caja Magica.

“I took more risks in the third set, but it’s hard after so many months without competing,” Nadal said. “I hadn’t played a match like this in a long time. Let’s see how it goes tomorrow. I don’t know how I’m going to wake up. But I’m already happy for having won three matches in a row.”

Cachin asked for Nadal’s shirt after congratulating him at the net, and received the gift moments later

Beatriz Haddad Maia Defeats Maria Sakkari to Advance to Madrid Open Quarterfinals

Beatriz Haddad Maia is still alive at the Madrid Open…

The 27-year-old Brazilian professional tennis player defeated fifth-seeded Maria Sakkari 6-4, 6-4 to reach the quarterfinals at the tournament.

Beatriz Haddad MaiaHaddad Maia, the No 11 seed and ranked No 14 in the world, will next play World No. 1 Iga Swiatek, the top seed, who defeated Spaniard Sara Sorribes Tormo.

The Brazilian beat Italian qualifier Sara Errani (6-3, 6-2) and American Emma Navarro, the No 19 seed (6-4, 6-4) earlier in the tournament.

Haddad Maia has three career WTA titles and reached her first major semifinal at the 2023 French Open.

She’s hoping to win her first title of 2024.

Aitana Bonmatí Named Best Sportswoman at Laureus World Sports Awards

Aitana Bonmatí has earned a special recognition…

Winners of the Laureus World Sports Awards have been revealed, with the 26-year-old Spanish professional footballer – a midfielder for the Spanish national women’s soccer team and Liga F club Barcelona – named best sportswoman.

Aitana BonmatíBonmati and her Spanish teammates, who won Spain’s first-ever Women’s World Cup last year, were chosen as world team of the year for 2023.

Novak Djokovic received the sportsman of the year at the ceremony in Madrid, and American gymnast Simone Biles was given the comeback of the year award.

Real Madrid forward Jude Bellingham earned the breakthrough prize, and Rafael Nadal won the sport for good award thanks to his foundation.

The Spanish women’s World Cup breakthrough last August in New Zealand and Australia was tarnished in the following weeks because of an unwanted kiss of forward Jenni Hermoso by then-federation president Luis Rubiales after the final.

Laureus rewarded Spain as the first all-female team to win the team award.

Before the World Cup, Bonmatí also helped Barcelona win a second Women’s Champions League.

She’s the first female soccer player to win the Laureus, after also receiving the Ballon d’Or and FIFA best player award.

“I want to thank all my teammates and the staff of my club and national team who have helped me a lot, and because of them I am here today,” Bonmati said.

Djokovic won his record-equaling fifth Laureus sportsman award — tying Roger Federer — after titles at the Australian Open, French Open and U.S. Open to reach a record 24 Grand Slam singles triumphs. NFL great Tom Brady presented Djokovic the award.

Biles made a record-breaking return to competition last year when she won four gold medals at the world championships, including a record sixth all-around title.

Nadal’s foundation was rewarded for helping more than “1,000 vulnerable young people in Spain and India,” according to Laureus.

Teenager Arisa Trew won the action sportsperson award after becoming the first female skateboarder to land a 720 in competition.

Dutch wheelchair player Diede de Groot was selected as the sportsperson of the year with a disability after winning her third straight calendar tennis Grand Slam.

Garbine Muguruza Announces Retirement from Professional Tennis

Garbine Muguruza is putting away her rackets…

The 30-year-old Spanish-Venezuelan tennis player, a two-time major champion and former World No. 1, has announced that she’s retiring from professional tennis at after an extended time away from the court.

Garbine Muguruza“I feel that it is time to retire and open up a new chapter in my life,” Muguruza said at a news conference in Madrid on Saturday.

Muguruza beat Serena Williams in the 2016 French Open final and Venus Williams in the 2017 Wimbledon final, making her the only player to defeat each Williams sister in a Grand Slam title match.

The Spanish player earned 10 career titles and was also the runner-up at 2015 Wimbledon and the 2020 Australian Open.

She earned nearly $25 million in prize money — 13th on the all-time list — and finished with a win-loss record of 449-238.

Her last important victory was the 2021 WTA Finals.

Muguruza has not played since January 2023.

In April that year, she announced she was extending her hiatus from playing and said, “Spending time with my family and friends [has] really been healthy and amazing.”

Born in Caracas to a Spanish father and Venezuelan mother, Muguruza moved to Barcelona when she was a child to continue her tennis training.

She became the first Spanish woman to lift a Grand Slam trophy since Arantxa Sánchez Vicario at the 1998 French Open.

Tomas Martin Etcheverry Defeats Cameron Norrie to Reach Barcelona Open Semifinals

Tomas Martin Etcheverry is one step closer to a Spanish title…

The 24-year-old Argentine professional tennis player defeated Cameron Norrie to advance to the Barcelona Open semifinals.

Etcheverry, ranked No. 30 in the workd, stormed through two tiebreakers to win 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-1).

Norrie and Etcheverry went head-to-head for only the second time in their careers during Friday’s match.

Their only previous encounter came last February in Buenos Aires, where Norrie prevailed 5-7, 6-0, 6-3–also in the quarterfinals.

But Etcheverry has made significant improvements in his game over the past 14 months. Along with being up to No. 30 in the world, he made a run to the French Open quarterfinals last spring.

Proir to knocking out Norrie, Etcheverry ousted Nick Hardt and Brandon Nakashima.

Norwegian third seed Casper Ruud, who claimed a straightforward 6-4 6-3 win over Italy’s Matteo Arnaldi, awaits Etcheverry.

Rafael Nadal’s 2007 French Open Tennis Racket Sells for $118K in Auction

One of Rafael Nadal‘s title-winning rackets is a hot item…

The 37-year-old Spanish professional tennis player and former World No. 1’s racket from his 2007 French Open final victory over Roger Federer was sold for more than $118,000 at an auction Monday, ranking among the highest-priced memorabilia.

Rafael NadalNadal beat Federer 6-3 4-6 6-3 6-4 in the 2007 final at Roland Garros with the Babolat AeroPro Drive racket to win his third Grand Slam title before the Spaniard moved on to secure 19 more — 14 of them in Paris– to become one of the sport’s greatest players.

The racket, which Nadal also used in previous matches at the tournament, including his semifinal victory against Novak Djokovic, sold for $118,206 at an online auction, Prestige Memorabilia‘s The Tennis Auction, that closed on Monday.

Rafael Nadal 2007 French Open Racket

It was previously housed in the Australian Tennis Museum prior to its recent closure.

Previous highest individual tennis racket auction sales include Nadal’s 2022 Australian Open racket ($139,700), Billie Jean King‘s “Battle of the Sexes” racket ($125,000) and Djokovic’s 2016 French Open racket ($107,482).

Nadal missed the recent Australian Open this month after suffering a small muscle tear during his comeback from a long injury layoff at the Brisbane International earlier in January.

He, however, is set to return on the court in February during the ATP 250 tournament in Doha.