Carlos Alcaraz outlasts Alexander Zverev in five-set thriller to lift maiden French Open title

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PARIS : Dominant Carlos Alcaraz on Sunday produced one of the finest performances on the clay court to script an exceptional comeback victory over Alexander Zverev, claiming the French Open 2024 men’s singles crown on Court Philippe-Chatrier in Paris.

The third seed outlasted Zverev 6-3, 2-6, 5-7, 6-1, 6-2 to lift the trophy at Roland Garros.

Following his victories on hard courts at the 2022 US Open and on the grass at the 2023 Wimbledon, 21-year-old Alcaraz became the youngest player to win a Grand Slam championship on three separate surfaces with his four-hour, 19-minute victory on the Paris clay.

Similar to his performance against Jannik Sinner in the semifinals, Alcaraz maintained composure to overcome Zverev while trailing two sets to one. After missing three weeks of action because of a right arm injury, the Spaniard improved his game to win 12 of the final 15 matches and win a major for the third year in a row when he arrived at Roland Garros.

Alcaraz previously won the opening set by locking in on the return following a tense start in which both players dropped their first serve game on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

Zverev began his second major final by serving back-to-back double faults, prompting the German to replace his racquet. He was broken three times in the first set and had to fend off two break opportunities to keep one of his service games at 2-4.

Although not always at his best, Alcaraz used a variety of tactics to disturb Zverev’s flow, and he was eager to channel the enthusiasm of a large audience after winning any lengthy rallies. Despite conceding the first set, Zverev remained focused. He squandered three break points in the first game of the second set, but made no mistakes in the fifth and seventh games to get back into the match.

The fourth-seeded German reeled off five consecutive games to seal both the second and third sets against the third-seeded Alcaraz. Alcaraz appeared to have regained control after taking a 5-2 lead in the third set, but Zverev used a hot streak to surge ahead.

Alcaraz and Zverev both sought to keep their opponents guessing, but it was Alcaraz’s ability to score large points at important times that ultimately proved decisive. The Spaniard converted nine of the 16 break points he gained, while Zverev converted only six of 23.

Alcaraz served at 2-1, 15/40, which proved to be a turning point in the final set. The Spaniard attempted a second serve, which was called out, but the chair umpire reviewed the mark and called it in. After nearly double-faulting to lose serve, Alcaraz held serve and solidified his early fifth-set service break.

Alcaraz, who is 52-10 in Grand Slam matches, is the seventh Spaniard to win the Coupe des Mousquetaires. (ANI)

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