Alcaraz wins French Open, joins elite 3-Surface Group

Carlos Alcaraz is the youngest man to win Grand Slam titles on all three surfaces. (Bertrand Guay/AFP)

Carlos Alcaraz fought back to defeat Alexander Zverev in a thrilling five-set French Open final on Sunday, becoming the youngest man to win Grand Slam titles on all three surfaces.

The 21-year-old Spaniard overcame cramps and a 2-1 set deficit to secure a 6-3, 2-6, 5-7, 6-1, 6-2 victory after four hours and 19 minutes on Court Philippe Chatrier.

“Something that I dreamt about, being in this position, since I started playing tennis, since I was five, six years old. So it’s a great, great feeling,” Alcaraz said after his win.

The victory adds the Roland Garros title to his Wimbledon crown from last year and the 2022 US Open, placing him among an elite group of players who have won on all surfaces.

Alcaraz, who will aim for the Australian Open next year to complete a career Grand Slam, showed remarkable resilience throughout the match.

Fourth seed Zverev, still seeking his first major title, praised the atmosphere and support despite his disappointment.

“It’s been amazing. The atmosphere, the support has been amazing,” the 27-year-old German said.

Before the final, Alcaraz expressed his desire to join the list of Spanish champions, including his idol Rafael Nadal, who congratulated him on Twitter: “Congratulations Carlos for this immense victory! Wonderful! Very happy for your successes! Vamos.”

The match was a rollercoaster, with both players experiencing highs and lows.

Zverev started nervously, double-faulting twice to lose the opening game, but Alcaraz also struggled with nerves, initially giving back the break.

Alcaraz found his rhythm to take the first set, but Zverev responded strongly, winning the second set comfortably.

The third set was tightly contested, with Zverev ultimately prevailing after breaking Alcaraz’s serve.

However, Alcaraz roared back in the fourth set, displaying incredible shot-making and breaking Zverev’s serve twice to force a decider.

Despite needing medical treatment for cramps, Alcaraz dominated the final set, capitalizing on crucial mistakes from Zverev, including a controversial line call that went in Alcaraz’s favor.

The victory solidifies Alcaraz’s status as one of tennis’s brightest young stars and sets the stage for an exciting future as he continues to chase historic milestones. (AFP)

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