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Alcaraz overcomes Zverev to win first French Open title


Alcaraz overcomes Zverev to win first French Open title

Carlos Alcaraz fought back to defeat Alexander Zverev in a five-set French Open final and become the youngest man to win Grand Slam titles on all three surfaces. The 21-year-old battled cramps to recover from 2-1 down in sets on Sunday (Jun 9) and win a gripping contest 6-3, 2-6, 5-7, 6-1, 6-2 after four hours and 19 minutes on Court Philippe Chatrier. Alcaraz adds the Roland Garros crown to the Wimbledon title he won against Novak Djokovic last year and the 2022 U.S. Open. He will head to the Australian Open next year with the chance to become the youngest man to complete the career Grand Slam. Fourth-seed Zverev, who settled a court case in Germany two days ago over domestic abuse allegations, is still waiting for a maiden major title.

He had also lost his only previous Slam final in five sets, when he blew a two-set lead against Dominic Thiem at the 2020 US Open.

Carlos Alcaraz won the French Open title many thought he was destined to claim by edging a scrappy five-set final against Alexander Zverev. Third seed Alcaraz won 6-3 2-6 5-7 6-1 6-2 on the Roland Garros clay.

The Spaniard was below the level of confidence and consistency which enabled him to win his first two major finals – at the U.S. Open in 2022 and last year's Wimbledon. But the 21-year-old came through to become the youngest man to win Grand Slam titles on all three surfaces.

Clay was the surface which Alcaraz grew up playing on in his hometown of Murcia and the French Open event he dreamt of winning. He instantly fell on to his back – in a celebration akin to 14-time champion Rafael Nadal – when he took his first match point after four hours and 19 minutes with a forehand winner.

"I used to watch the tournament on television and I’m now lifting the title," said Alcaraz, who was presented with the trophy by six-time champion Bjorn Borg.

German fourth seed Zverev, who was looking to finally land his first Grand Slam title, presented a formidable opponent after a 12-match winning streak on the red dirt. But the 27-year-old's wait for the major title he has long been predicted to win continues after his second defeat in a Grand Slam final.

"I feel like I did everything I could," said Zverev, who lost to Dominic Thiem from two sets up in the 2020 U.S. Open final. "Carlos played fantastic. He played better than me in the fourth and fifth set. It's how it is."

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