Carlos Alcaraz: Spaniard beats Alexander Zverev to claim maiden French Open title at Roland Garros | Tennis News

Carlos Alcaraz was made to sweat but clinched his first French Open title by outlasting Alexander Zverev 6-3 2-6 5-7 6-1 6-2 in Sunday’s final at Roland Garros.

The 21-year-old filled a Rafael Nadal-sized void at Roland Garros with a marathon victory in four hours and 19 minutes.

Fourth seed Zverev had sent old warrior Nadal out on his shield for probably the last time in the first round.

But young pretender Alcaraz vanquished the German to join fellow Spaniard Nadal as the only men to lift the Roland Garros trophy aged under 22.

Carlos Alcaraz is now…

The youngest man ever to become World No. 1 (19 years, 4 months, 6 days old).

The youngest man ever to win a Grand Slam title on all three surfaces (21 years, 1 month, 3 days old).

The first man to win his first three major titles on three different surfaces.

“I’m really grateful to have the team that I have and the people I have around me,” said the Spaniard, who became the youngest man to win a Grand Slam title on all three surfaces, adding the Paris clay to his hard-court US Open success and last year’s win on the Wimbledon grass.

“I know everyone in my team gives their heart just to make me improve as a player and as a person.

“I just have good words for the fans – it’s been unbelievable the support I’ve received. I feel like I’m at home here. The fans make this tournament so special. A huge thanks to them.”

He boasts a perfect record in major finals, while for Zverev it is two defeats from two following his loss to Dominic Thiem at the US Open four years ago.

Alcaraz was the clear aggressor as the first set wore on and he took it in 43 minutes.

But the Zverev forehand began firing and he broke for 3-2 in the second set after Alcaraz’s mistimed return flew into the crowd.

A sizzling pass from Zverev sent a cloud of dust exploding off the court as he brought up a double break on his way to levelling the match.

Alcaraz found his range again early in the third when a superb volley brought up three break points – his first on the Zverev serve all set – and he dispatched the first to lead 4-2.

But Alcaraz was suddenly missing more often than his opponent and Zverev reeled off five games, saving a break point at 6-5, to move ahead.

But having finally got a service hold on the board and returning from so far back he was almost sitting on the lap of Bjorn Borg in the front row of the presidential box, Alcaraz broke with a vicious forehand down the line.

Alcaraz needed treatment on his left thigh but held out to take the match to a deciding set.

A tired service game from Zverev, who has spent almost 24 hours on court this fortnight, gave Alcaraz the early advantage.

‘Carlos, Carlos’ chanted the crowd on Philippe Chatrier in scenes usually only reserved for 14-time winner Nadal.

They were on their feet again when an astonishing flicked backhand cross-court winner helped secure another break.

Four minutes later the man from Murcia was lying on his back, Nadal style, celebrating a victory he has always seemed destined for.

“You’re already a Hall of Famer and you already achieved so much,” said Zverev. “You’ve already achieved so much at 21 years old – incredible player. It’s not the last time he’ll win this.

“It’s been amazing, I really love to play on this beautiful court – I’ll be back next year.”

The list of men in the Open Era to win a singles major title on hard court, grass court and clay court

Andre Agassi

Jimmy Connors

Novak Djokovic

Roger Federer

Rafael Nadal

Mats Wilander

Carlos Alcaraz

Tale of the Tape

Carlos Alcaraz and Alexander Zverev at the French Open

Social media reaction

‘This sport needs Alcaraz!’

Three-time French Open champion Mats Wilander on Eurosport:

“We need Alcaraz more than anything in our sport right now. He needs to keep winning majors every year.

“If he does that he’ll change our sport in many ways because he’s such a breath of fresh air, his smiling is great and he’s humble. This is great for professional tennis.”

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