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Number Seven Thousand Five Hundred and Seventy Eight - 11 June 2024
Iran Daily - Number Seven Thousand Five Hundred and Seventy Eight - 11 June 2024 - Page 6

Alcaraz enters all-surface elite with French Open triumph

REUTERS – Carlos Alcaraz made a grand entrance into the tennis history books as he claimed his maiden French Open title to become the youngest man to capture Grand Slams on all three surfaces with a see-saw five-set victory over German Alexander Zverev on Sunday.
The 6-3 2-6 5-7 6-1 6-2 win may not have been a classic, but the Spaniard showed that he belonged among the elite as he added a third Grand Slam crown to his impressive trophy cabinet that already has the 2022 U.S. Open and 2023 Wimbledon titles.
Alcaraz became the seventh man to win a major on hard, grass and clay courts, a feat that eluded some of the sport’s greats, including American Pete Sampras, who boasts 14 major titles, but never won at Roland Garros.
At 21 years old, Alcaraz has played in three Grand Slam finals and won them all, while for comparison, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic were in their late 20s before they mastered the sport’s slowest surface.
“Since I was little kid, I was running from school to put on the TV to watch this tournament. Now I am lifting the trophy in front of all of you,” said Alcaraz, who was described by Zverev as a “Hall of Famer” in his speech.
Sunday’s defeat prolonged Zverev’s frustration at Grand Slams, with the German still chasing a first title despite reaching the last four eight times.
“I’ll be back next year,” Zverev promised.
‘Unlucky moments’

In the first men’s Roland Garros final not featuring any member of the Big Three – Rafael Nadal, Djokovic and Federer – in two decades, Alcaraz and Zverev failed to impress, their lack of consistency making for a disappointing display.
“There was some unlucky moments. I heard that at 2-1 the second serve was out. From the Hawk Eye data I saw that. I break back there, I have break chances and then in the next service game, a fifth set can go the other way,” Zverev said.
“There’s a difference whether you’re down 3-1 in the fifth set or you’re back to two-all.
“It’s frustrating in the end, but it is what it is. Umpires make mistakes. They’re also human and that’s okay. But of course in a situation like that, you wish there wouldn’t be mistakes.”
Zverev, who was bidding to become the first German man to win a singles Grand Slam since Boris Becker in 1996, saw his hopes slip away on the biggest stage yet again.
Alcaraz broke once more before serving it out and clinching the title on his first match point.
“When you’re playing a fifth set you have to give everything and you have to give your heart. In those moments, it’s where the top players give their best tennis,” Alcaraz said.
“I wanted to be one of the best players in the world, so I have to give extra in those moments, I have to show the opponent that I’m fresh, like we’re playing the first game of the match.”

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