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Thursday, June 20, 2024

French Open final 2024: Alcaraz through after win v Sinner

Carlos Alcaraz recovered from twice falling a set behind to beat incoming world number one Jannik Sinner and set up a French Open 2024 final against Alex Zverev or Casper Ruud.

The 2-6 6-3 3-6 6-4 6-3 victory ensured the 21-year-old has surpassed his best ever run at the Paris major last year, when he was beaten in four sets in the semi-finals by champion Novak Djokovic.

Alcaraz will be the favourite in Sunday’s final after top seed Djokovic withdrew before his semi-final because of a knee injury.

The Spaniard has won two Grand Slam titles, adding last year’s Wimbledon title to the US Open trophy he lifted in 2022.

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Sinner has the consolation of knowing that he will rise to number one in the world on Monday and looked poised to prevail for long periods.

The 22-year-old raced into a 4-0 lead in the first set, taking it 6-2 as part of a seesaw contest.

Alcaraz v Sinner ‘tough’

“Here on clay, there are long rallies and four-hour matches,” observed Alcaraz. “You have to fight and suffer.

“I’ve said to my team many, many times that you have to enjoy suffering. The toughest matches I have played in my short career have been against Jannik.

“He is a great player, with the team he has as well and the work he puts in every day. I hope to play more matches against Jannik.”

Sinner and Alcaraz ‘cramping’

World number three Alcarez and his opponent each seemed to take it in turns to suffer physical issues midway through the match.

“I was cramping and Jannik was as well,” conceded Alcaraz. “I learned from last year’s match against Djokovic, when I was in the same position.

“You have to be calm and keep going, because the cramp is going to go away. The third set was a little weird [because of that] but the fourth and fifth sets were great. I waited for my moments until the last moment, which I took.”

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