Carlos Alcaraz - Roland Garros 2024

Carlos Alcaraz draws comparisons to ‘the big three’ after reaching first Roland Garros final

Carlos Alcaraz has become the youngest men’s Roland Garros finalist since Rafael Nadal, with the 21-year-old comparing himself to his compatriot.

Alcaraz came from two-sets-to-one down to beat rival Jannik Sinner, 2-6 6-3 3-6 6-4 6-3, in over four hours on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

Both players had various issues during the match related to cramping, and Alcaraz spoke on-court about the need to enjoy pain on clay, “You have to find the joy in suffering. That’s the key. Even more here on clay at Roland Garros. Long rallies. Four hour matches. Five sets. You have to fight and suffer. As I talked with my team many times, you have to enjoy suffering.”

The two-time major winner now moves back ahead in the head-to-head with Sinner, and Alcaraz spoke about their budding rivalry, “The toughest matches I’ve played in my short career have been against Jannik. The US Open in 2022.. this one.. that shows the great player that Jannik is. The team he has, and the great work he puts in every day…I hope to play many many more matches like this against Jannik. This was one of the toughest matches I’ve played for sure.”

As a result of Alcaraz reaching his first Roland Garros final, he has now reached a Grand Slam final on every surface and is the youngest men’s player to achieve that feat.

And the Murcian reacted to this achievement in his post-match press conference, “Yeah, it’s something great. Breaking new records for me is great, great success for me.

“Honestly, before the final it’s something that I really don’t want to think about it, but obviously that means that, as I said, I’m playing good tennis in every surface, that is something that I really wanted to do when I started in the tour. So it’s a great feeling, but right now, I don’t want to think about it.”

When continuing to be questioned about achieving great results on all surfaces, Alcaraz suggested that he was inspired by the likes of Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray.

“Well, I always wanted to be one of the best players in the world. If I want to be, you know, one of the best players in the world, I have to be a good player in every surface, like, Roger did, Novak, Rafa, Murray,” explained Carlos Alcaraz. “The best players in the world had success in every surface.”

He continued, “So I consider myself a player who adapts very well his style in every surface. And, well, I grew up playing on clay but I feel more comfortable playing on hard court, for example. I think my game suits very well to the clay, to clay season, to the clay court, as well. So I just wanted to be a good player in every surface.”

Alcaraz will look to win his third Grand Slam title on Sunday, when he takes on Alexander Zverev in the Roland Garros final.

Inside the baseline…

It is almost surprising that clay is the last surface that Carlos Alcaraz has reached a major final on, considering that he grew up on the dirt and has had great success on the tour. However, it has almost felt like a matter of time until Alcaraz reached this Roland Garros final and although it was not a classic, the Spaniard showcased his clay court prowess to come through the semi-final with Jannik Sinner.

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.