2024 Roland Garros Men’s Final Recap: Alcaraz outlasts Zverev in 5 set thriller

Phillippe Chatrier the Championship court for the French Open, has a quote from Roland Garros that says, “Victory belongs to the most tenacious”, and on this day it was a tenacious effort from the 21-year-old Spanish phenom that gutted out a hard-earned victory to be crowned French Open champion.

After four hours and nineteen minutes that compacted five sets of tennis, Carlos Alcaraz reigned the clay courts of Paris with a (6-3) (2-6) (5-7) (6-1) (6-2) victory over German Alexander Zverev.

At twenty-one years and one month old, Alcaraz became the youngest to win majors on all three surfaces edging fellow countryman Rafael Nadal by eighteen months.

Carlitos jumps to number two in the world, behind Australian Open champion Jannik Sinner and surpassing previous world number one Novak Djokovic.

For Alcaraz, it is his third grand slam title, having won on the hard courts of the US in 2022 and the grass of Wimbledon in 2023.

The match seemed to be a showcase of two different levels of stamina for both players. Zverev had survived two five set encounters in the third and fourth rounds while cruising afterwards to the final. On the other hand, Alcaraz only dropped one set until the semifinals where he rallied down two sets to one to beat new world number one Jannik Sinner in five sets.

Both players had yet to win a French Open title, the anticipation of an epic simmered to a bright sunny afternoon in Paris.

The first set began with both players breaking in the first two games. In the sixth game of the set, Alcaraz broke Zverev to take a 4-2 lead in the set. Alcaraz broke Sascha again to win the first set 6-3. To put the Spaniard on his way to his first Roland Garros Title.

Set number two saw Alcaraz held after a 10 minute service game after going up 40-0. Zverev finally broke Alcaraz in the fifth game of the set, and notched an insurance break after Alcaraz double faulted in the seventh game. Zverev held serve to close out the second set.

The third set saw Alcaraz take a 5-2 lead in the third set, one game away from claiming the third set. Zverev caught a wave and roared back, winning five games in a row to claim the third set on his third set point.

The fourth set was all Alcaraz, quickly ahead 4-0, after being broken back, the Spaniard responded by winning the next two games to force a deciding fifth set.

The fifth set ensued with Alcaraz breaking Zverev in the third game of the set to go up 2-1. Zverev looked like he was going to break back and had an opportunity at 15-40. Alcaraz’s second serve seemed to be out, but chair umpire Renaud Lichtenstein ruled the serve to be in, judging by the mark on the clay. Hawkeye (automated line system) deemed the shot to be out. Alcaraz would save four break points and consolidate his break to go up 3-1.

An insurance break to go up 5-2 seemed to leave little to no doubt.

And on championship point, when the German’s forehand found the net, Carlitos collapsed on the Paris clay, a French Open champion.

After a clay court season that saw Alcaraz play merely four matches and withdraw from three tournaments, Carlitos battled through injuries, cramps, and tough competition to win clay court’s most coveted trophy.

For Alcaraz, winning Roland Garros to him was the most special, not just for the legacy of the tournament, but also the journey.

Winning a Grand Slam is always special…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…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…So I’m going to say this one is the most that I am proud about myself. – Carlos Alcaraz

Alcaraz would go on to mention how after dropping the third set, he had his doubts, but in a final of a grand slam, it was the time to scratch and claw and find a way out.

For Zverev, his second grand slam finalist trophy comes in lieu of another five set defeat.

It is what it is, 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. -Alexander Zverev

Zverev said in the trophy ceremony, Alcaraz, a three-time grand slam champion at the age of 21 was already a hall of famer.

The legacy of Carlos Alcaraz continues to grow, the gaze will turn to the grass of Wimbledon, with Alcaraz the reigning champion, hoping to defend his crown at SW19.

Check out our coverage on the Roland Garros Women’s Final

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