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French Open Day 13: Alcaraz Comes Back to Beat Sinner to Reach Roland Garros Against Zverev

Carlos Alcaraz fought his way into the final, twice coming from behind to beat Jannik Sinner 2-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.

The 20-year-old becomes the youngest man ever to reach a slam final on all three surfaces, a year earlier than Andre Agassi.

He faces Alexander Zverev in Sunday’s final who came back to beat an under-the-weather Casper Ruud in four sets. 

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A win on Sunday would leave the 20-year-old with just the Australian Open missing from his trophy cabinet after remarkable wins at the 2022 US Open and last year’s Wimbledon. 

“You have to find the joy in suffering, that’s the key,” Alcaraz said.

“Even more here on clay – long rallies, four-hour matches, five sets, you have to fight. But you have to enjoy suffering.”

Jannik Sinner struggled with some cramps at the start of the third set and today lost his bid to win back-to-back majors after his triumphs down under. 

It’s likely we will all get rather used to these two playing some classics but despite the four-hour battle, the quality was inconsistent. 

The match twisted and turned much like their rivalry almost certainly will as this new era begins. 

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The Italian started the brighter, racing to a 4-0 lead with some assured ball-striking. 

After going 2-0 in the second, it looked like Alcaraz’s nightmares from last year’s difficult defeat to Novak Djokovic were coming back to haunt him. 

The 20-year-old remained supremely calm and managed to dig his way out this hole to win six of the next seven games to level the contest. 

More or less a year ago today, it was Alcaraz whose whole body cramped up and betrayed him on the big stage. Today it looked to be Sinner’s turn with tension in his arms and legs leading to a handful of visits from the physio. 

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A topsy-turvy set saw Sinner eventually loosen up and capitalise to take the third. 

A costly missed overhead at 4-5 in the penultimate set handed Alcaraz the fourth. Despite squandering two match points 45 minutes later, Alcaraz got over the line with a roar. 

The second semi-final had a troubling backdrop with Alexander Zverev’s domestic abuse trial being ‘discontinued’ after an out-of-court settlement was reached. 

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While opinions were predictably all over the place, the point that remains completely unchanged is that the ATP urgently need to formulate a clear domestic abuse policy. 

The 27-year-old has lost his last three major semi-finals, being convincingly thumped last year in Paris by his opponent today. 

The German has played his fair share of tennis this week and for the third time had to come back from losing the opening set. 

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Ruud told the umpire mid-way through the match said he was struggling with a ‘stomach ache’ and his early, punishing ball-striking went missing for the remainder of the match. 

“I’m extremely happy because I’ve got so much history on this court – some of the best memories and some of the worst memories,” reflected Zverev, who two years ago suffered a serious ankle injury in his semi-final against Rafael Nadal.

“I’m happy to come through my fourth semi-final. The first two sets were high level and then I saw he started to move slower when he wasn’t feeling well – but his shots were still the same.”


  • Sam France

    Sam France is an avid tennis watcher and player, frequently found passionately raving about the WTA. A journalist with a passion for all things sport, culture, and politics, Sam is a committed Radio 4 listener. A big WSL fan, Sam is still searching for a Guro Reiten autograph. @SamFrance28