Alcaraz survives thriller to reach Roland Garros final

SPANISH young gun Carlos Alcaraz is through to the 2024 Roland Garros final after surviving an epic battle against Jannik Sinner in the latest chapter of the duo’s story. Alcaraz won in an epic four-hour and nine-minute clash, coming back from two sets to one down to win, 2-6 6-3 3-6 6-4 6-3 in a battle of the future stars.

Sinner, who will be crowned world number one on Monday, was beaten by the former number one in a physically demanding clash. Alcaraz needed to pull out all the stops to regain momentum when it counted most, and eventually shrugged off the young Italian to take home the victory and advance through to the French Open final.

“You have to find the joy in suffering,” Alcaraz said post-match. “I think that’s the key, even more on clay here in Roland-Garros, long rallies, four-hour matches, five sets, you have to fight, you have to suffer, but as I talked with my team many, many times, you have to enjoy suffering.”

In reaching the final, Alcaraz became the youngest male to reach a Grand Slam final on all three surfaces of hardcourt, grass and now clay. Twelve months ago Alcaraz battled physically against Novak Djokovic and went down in the semi-final, learning from that experience to push through and overcame the most in-form player in the world in Sinner.

“I saw he was struggling a little bit but, yeah, I was cramping, Jannik as well in the third set,” he said.

“We had to fight. I learned from last year’s match against Djokovic that I was in the same position like today, but I know that in this moment you have to be calm, you have to keep going because the cramp is going to go away and you have to stay there fighting, trying to make shorter the points.”

“It was a little weird, let’s say, the third set but I think the fourth set, the fifth set was… great tennis. I’m really happy about everything that I’ve done today, waiting for my moments until the last moment that I took it.”

In the match, Alcaraz served eight aces to Sinner’s seven and had one less double fault (seven to eight), and while Sinner’s dominant first serve (74 per cent success rate) was troubling the Spaniard, Alcaraz blasted his way to a whopping 65 winners (compared to Sinner’s 39) en route to victory. He also had 14 additional unforced errors, while the pair broke six times apiece.

Despite Sinner actually winning more points (147-145), it was Alcaraz who advanced through to the decider, and will now take on German Alexander Zverev to determine the Roland Garros title.

“The toughest match that I’ve played in my short career has been against Jannik,” Alcaraz said. “The US Open 2022, this one. That means the great player that Jannik is, the team that he has as well, the great work he puts in every day, I hope to play many, many more matches like this one against Jannik but yes, one of the toughest matches that I’ve played for sure.”

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments