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Carlos Alcaraz discusses a ‘special’ French Open win, targeting Olympic success and plans for a new tattoo



Carlos Alcaraz discusses a ‘special’ French Open win, targeting Olympic success and plans for a new tattoo


As a toddler, Carlos Alcaraz used to run dwelling from college to look at the French Open on TV, dreaming of in the future taking part in on the match’s clay courts and turning into champion.

That dream turned a actuality on Sunday because the Spaniard defeated world No. 4 Alexander Zverev in 5 units to raise his third grand slam title – all on the age of solely 21.

In a gritty and infrequently unpredictable efficiency on Court docket Philippe-Chatrier, Alcaraz confirmed his trademark struggle and resilience towards Zverev, getting back from two units to 1 all the way down to turn into the youngest man to win main titles on clay, grass and onerous courts.

“Actually, to begin with, I’m exhausted,” Alcaraz instructed CNN Sport’s Amanda Davies the day after claiming his first title at Roland Garros. “It was a very powerful one. It’s a dream come true for me. I actually wished to raise this trophy in the future, after which to have the ability to do it’s a nice feeling.

“This match, I’ve watched it since I used to be 5, six years previous … Being on this place proper now could be so, so particular,” he added.

With Alcaraz’s newest success comes yet one more tattoo.

He already has the dates of his grand slam wins on the US Open and Wimbledon – the latter alongside a strawberry synonymous with the match – inked on his pores and skin, and now plans to get the Eiffel Tower and Sunday’s date on his left ankle.

It appears a becoming selection: after his victory within the Metropolis of Gentle, Alcaraz shared an previous photograph of himself aged 12, watching the match on a giant display screen within the shadow of the Paris landmark.

Is he apprehensive about working out of pores and skin house, ought to he proceed to build up extra grand slam titles?

“That is excellent news if that occurs,” mentioned Alcaraz. “I mentioned to my household and to my staff that it’s going to be the primary grand slam. If I win one other French Open, I’m not going to get a tattoo.”

Together with his victory over Zverev, the world No. 2 joins an extended line of Spanish males to have lifted the French Open title. Rafael Nadal leads the way in which with a record-breaking 14 titles, whereas Juan Carlos Ferrero, Albert Costa, Carlos Moyá and Sergi Bruguera have all been champions since 1993.

“I actually wished to place my title on that checklist as properly,” mentioned Alcaraz, who’s now coached by 2003 winner Ferrero.

Having sustained an arm harm forward of this 12 months’s French Open, the Murcia native withdrew from the Italian Open however has exceeded his expectations bodily over the previous two weeks, profitable 4 of his seven matches in three units.

It was solely towards Zverev and new world No. 1 Jannik Sinner that Alcaraz went the gap – the primary man within the Open Period to win the ultimate and the semifinal of the French Open in 5 units.

Alcaraz and his team pose for a photo in the locker room after winning the French Open.

After dropping the third set towards Zverev, letting slip a 5-2 lead, he needed to dig deep into his power reserves and lift his depth, racing across the courtroom and chasing down each shot.

The 2 highlights have been a so-called “banana” forehand – made well-known by Nadal – within the fourth set and a surprising backhand passing shot when Alcaraz had appeared sure to lose the purpose within the deciding set.

“If I misplaced, I wished to do it preventing till the final ball, working, taking part in my finest tennis,” he mentioned. “That’s all I considered in that second: to maintain looking for options.”

Alcaraz’s consideration now turns to Wimbledon, the place he’ll defend the title he received in dramatic style towards Novak Djokovic final 12 months, after which the Olympics in Paris, which can imply a return to Roland Garros.

There, he hopes to play doubles alongside Nadal – probably one of many 22-time grand slam champion’s remaining tournaments – in addition to going for a gold medal within the singles competitors.

“I’ve received Roland Garros and I’m going for the Olympics,” mentioned Alcaraz. “I’m going to attempt to get each.”

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