Fitting Finale at 2024 French Open: Carlos Alcaraz tops Alexander Zverev at Roland-Garros

Photo by Gonzalo Facello:

By Yousaf K

The thrilling four-hour-and-19-minute men’s final on Sunday, June 9 in Paris resulted in a first-time French Open Champion.  Carlos Alcaraz, world number three, beat German Alexander Zverev in five sets, 6-3, 2-6, 5-7, 6-1, and 6-2. Zverev was hoping to display the talent many witnessed when the adroit teenager followed the footsteps of his brother Mischa (a former Australian Open quarter finalist) also on tour with him. Alcaraz on the other hand was aiming to accomplish his childhood dream.

Going into the battle against one another, the stakes were high for both tennis stars. Earlier, Alcaraz had told the press that he has a dream to add his name to the list of the players who set the stage at Roland-Garros.  He also praised his lifelong hero, Spanish tennis icon Rafael Nadal, who was knocked out by Zverev in the opening round of the tournament.  For Zverev, this was a second chance in a Grand Slam final.  Back in 2020, he lost the U.S. Open final to Domini Thiem in five sets.

The game was normal in the first two sets, but quickly intensified as both players stepped up the heat in the crucial third set.  The quality of the shots and momentum of the game persistently swung from player to player until Alcaraz ultimately came out on top in the deciding fifth set.

With this win, Alcaraz set his name in tennis history.  Following the footsteps of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Andre Agassi and Mats Wilander, he has now become the seventh player to win a grand Slam event on all three stages and, having just turned just 21 last May, is now the youngest to achieve this feat.  Nadal, for comparison, was 22 years and 7 months, when he finished his trio and won the Australian Open in 2009.

The French Open meant the most to him, according to Alcaraz.  While highlighting his month-long training with his teammates in preparation for the tournament, Alcaraz noted he entered the tournament with an injury.  His arm injury had forced him to be unavailable for the Barcelona Open and Monte Carlo Masters.  In Madrid, Andrey Rublev defeated him, and because of the same injury, he withdrew from Rome.  He then had only four games on clay before stepping into the French Open 2024.  In the initial rounds, he looked confident despite his inability to hit his forehand at maximum strength.

Nadal, who is a 14 times champion at Roland-Garros, congratulated him after the match. Posting on X, Nadal said that he was very happy for Alcaraz’s success and that the victory was immense.

After his U.S. Open win against Casper Ruud, Alcaraz tattooed his arm with the date of his victory.  He then tattooed his ankle with a strawberry after his triumph in Wimbledon.  After his most recent win, he said he will celebrate this victory by tattooing his leg with Sunday’s date and the Eiffel Tower on his leg.

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