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.”

Carlos Alcaraz Wins Queen’s Club Championships Title to Reclaim World No. 1 Ranking

Carlos Alcaraz has reclaimed the World No. 1 ranking…

The 20-year-old Spanish tennis player defeated Alex De Minaur 6-4, 6-4 on Sunday to then the Queen’s Club Championships final for his first ATP title on grass.

Carlos AlcarazIn the process he reclaimed the top ranking, ensuring he’ll enter Wimbledon next month as the No. 1 seed.

Despite struggling at times in the first set, Alcaraz beat De Minaur for his fifth title of the year and 11th overall.

In the process, Alcaraz moved above Novak Djokovic in the rankings and confirmed the US Open champion as a serious challenger to the Serbian player’s crown at Wimbledon. Alcaraz lost in the fourth round to Jannik Sinner last year.

“The chances don’t change so much. I mean, Novak is coming to Wimbledon,” Alcaraz said. “Right now, I’m feeling better than the beginning of the week, that’s obvious.

Carlos Alcaraz“Of course, recovering the No. 1 before Wimbledon, it gives you extra motivation, it gives you extra confidence coming into Wimbledon. But it doesn’t change too much if I play Wimbledon as the No. 2 or the No. 1.”

Alcaraz will enter Wimbledon as the second-youngest man to be seeded No. 1 since the Open era began in 1968, after Boris Becker, who was 19, in 1987, according to ESPN Stats & Information data.

Sunday’s final was Alcaraz’s first on grass, in only the third tournament of his young career on the surface.

He had to save two break points in the eighth game of the first set, broke in the next game and then served out for the set.

Alcaraz won the only break point of the second set, when the 24-year-old Spanish/Uruguayan Australian tennis player double faulted, and sealed the title on his first match point when the Australian sent a return long.

“It means a lot to have my name on the trophy,” Alcaraz said. “It was special to play here where so many legends have won. To see my name surrounded by the great champions is amazing.”

Alcaraz has won titles on hard, clay and grass this season, making him the youngest man to win tour-level titles on hard, clay and grass in the same year since Mats Wilander, who was 19, in 1983, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.