New King of the Clay: Carlos Alcaraz Triumphs in Roland Garros 2024

New King of the Clay Carlos Alcaraz Triumphs in Roland Garros 2024 image

📖 Published on: June 10th, 2024

✍️ Updated: June 11th, 2024

⏳ 8 mins read

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Carlos Alcaraz has just logged the biggest win of his 2024 ATP Tour campaign after beating Alexander Zverev in the final of the Roland Garros, setting a massive run in his career this year after a lot of short tournament rallies to begin the calendar year. But now that he has gained momentum in the Tour, it seems that fans can expect to see more from the 21-year-old who has shined bright on the biggest stage of the game.

 

How Alcaraz Battled His Way to the Top of the Clay

 

With Novak Djokovic pulling out early in the Quarterfinal against Casper Ruud due to an injury, it does seem that the stage was wide open for Alcaraz to waltz through the big stage in the French Open after strings of success in the earlier rounds. However, without his rival star at the top, many players still found a way to challenge Alcaraz’s chances of winning in the French Open now more than ever.

 

Alcaraz celebrating a promising victory image

 

It has not been an easy ride for Carlos Alcaraz, who has clinched just his second tournament win of the season (Alcaraz won in the Indian Well Masters last March). He even dealt with injuries two months ago during the Monte-Carlo Masters, and was even rumored to be missing out on the clay games, only to come back strong and show that he still has what it takes to dominate on the clay surface and win his his third Grand Slam title overall, and the first in Roland Garros.

 

At the age of 21, nothing is expected from Alcaraz but the best. He is making his presence felt in the game at a young age, and that says a lot about about his latest triumph after beating a lot of contenders on his way to the top. Alcaraz had to beat the likes of Sebastian Korda, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Jannik Sinner, and Alexander Zverev just to clinch that Grand Slam title, and he definitely deserved it.

 

But how did Alcaraz pull off such a promising victory to cap off a majestic run in his games for the 2024 ATP Tour?

 

Blazing Quarterfinal Clash: vs Stefanos Tsitsipas

Alcaraz returning a volley in his game versus Tsitsipas image

 

Despite being able to win it in straight sets, Alcaraz did struggle a bit to win against Stefanos Tsitsipas to open up his deep run in the main event stages. Alcaraz cruised for a 6-3, 7(7)-6(3), and 6-4 win to close out the winner in the Monte-Carlo Masters. It was a promising sight for Alcaraz as he went on to improve at 6-0 in his head to head record versus Tsitsipas. There was an initial push from Tsitsipas in the second set, where he forced Alcaraz to play multiple point breaks and tie-breaks that proved to be pivotal in the game, until Alcaraz went on to get back into his pace and scored a win in the second set before ultimately winning the big game in three sets. This was a rematch of their 2023 Roland Garros meeting in the same stage, and Alcaraz has exposed the patterns of play that Tsitsipas has been so successful within the past few months.

 

Back-and-Forth Semis: vs Jannik Sinner

Alcaraz shaking hands with Sinner after the win image

 

As the third seed, it was expected that Carlos Alcaraz would have some initial struggles in the tournament. As expected, his biggest challenge came against the then-World no. 1 in Jannik Sinner, who would go on to take the challenge and battle Alcaraz from start to finish, which was decided in the Spaniard’s favor in a 2-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, and 6-3 win. Alcaraz had to fight back twice from behind after coming down 2-1 early in the match before he finally went on to get back into his groove and storm his way back to win the final two sets of the showdown and cap off a promising campaign in the game. This victory marked a crucial feat for Alcaraz and prevented Sinner from coming up with a bigger lead for the top spot in the ATP Rankings.

 

Intense Final Showdown: vs Alexander Zverev

Alcaraz lays on the court after defeating Zverev in the final image

 

Just like in the semis, Alcaraz didn’t have an easy finish in the final. He had to brave the storm in the final after going down 2-1 in the first three sets, keeping his calm demeanor and putting up a concentrated focus in the next two to ensure that he would come back for the second time in a row and finish it at 6-3, 2-6, 5-7, 6-1, and 6-2 to win his first Roland Garros title – extending his streak of having at least one Major crown in a season to three consecutive campaigns. Alcaraz had to find ways to beat Zverev off the serve and return volleys, and his injury was definitely challenged for most of the four-hour and 19-minute affair in the showdown, with the Spaniard cruising back and forth to come up with quick returns and timely smashes to secure the victory.

 

Setting History: The Youngest Slam Winner on Three Surfaces

Alcaraz has written history in the ATP Tour this season with his third Grand Slam victory, making him the youngest player ever to win a Slam across three different surfaces in the game. Alcaraz has already won in the hard court with his US Open win in 2022, and the grass court in Wimbledon last year. Now he focuses on his next goal with the hopes of finishing at a high note for the season.

 

Alcaraz has set an incredible feat in the game image

 

"It has been incredible work," said Alcaraz. "The last month we were struggling a lot with the injury. Looking back to Madrid, I didn't feel well. The next week there were a lot of doubts and then coming here and practising not too much. I am really grateful to have the team that I have and the people I have around. I know that everyone in my team is giving their heart just to make me improve as a player and a person. To grow up. So I am really grateful and I call you a team, but it is a family."

 

Alcaraz has also improved in five-set matches overall with an 11-1 record, with his only loss coming against Matteo Berrettini at the 2022 Australian Open – which is the only Grand Slam tournament that he is yet to win in his career. But at the age of 21, it seems that there are plenty of chances for him to ace that mark as well.

 

What’s Next for Carlos Alcaraz?

 

With the win, Alcaraz now moves back to the second spot in the ATP Rankings. Sinner sits at the top after earning a +755 point rally and has dethroned Novak Djokovic with a total tally of 9,525 points. The Spanish star sits at second with a +1,280 raise in his points tally after the impressive victory in the Roland Garros, now flexing a total of 8,580 points in the standings.

 

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