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Tennis: Alexander Zverev loses the final of the French Open

Tennis: Alexander Zverev loses the final of the French Open

Alexander Zverev lost in the final in Paris against Spain’s young star Carlos Alcaraz. This means that the German tennis star is still waiting for his first Grand Slam title.

When his big dream was once again dramatically shattered, Alexander Zverev looked down, completely dejected. The tennis star missed the crowning glory of his impressive title mission in Paris and must continue to wait for the longed-for first Grand Slam title of his career. The 27-year-old lost the rarely high-class five-set final of the French Open on Sunday against Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz 3:6, 6:2, 7:5, 1:6, 2:6. For the second time, he failed just before achieving his big goal.

“What a gladiator fight between two fantastic players, that had everything that makes a tennis heart beat faster,” said tennis icon Boris Becker on Eurosport: “Huge respect for Sascha Zverev, what a tournament in Paris.”

Alexander Zverev fights for five sets

Three and a half years after his narrow loss in the US Open final, Zverev had to admit defeat again after five sets despite leading 2-1. A strong tournament performance overall was not enough to become the first male tennis professional from Germany to triumph at the Stade Roland Garros. After 4 hours and 19 minutes, Alcaraz converted his first match point to win his third Grand Slam tournament, which will go down in history.

The 21-year-old is the youngest tennis professional to win a Grand Slam title on all three surfaces: clay, grass and hard court. He had previously won the trophy at the 2022 US Open and Wimbledon in 2023. Since the turn of the millennium, only his compatriot Rafael Nadal was younger than Alcaraz in his first triumph in Paris.

Zverev initially does not follow Becker’s advice

“If not now, when?” Zverev said after reaching the final against Norwegian Casper Ruud. Tennis icon Boris Becker gave him advice in a personal conversation in Paris: “The key thing is to be brave, to show your opponent and the whole world: I’m coming here to win – and not just to play.”

But the German started the showdown weakly and with two double faults. A quick racket change didn’t help either; in the first set, Alcaraz clearly dictated the proceedings with his variable game and precise and powerful groundstrokes. The Spaniard, who had been out for weeks before the start of the tournament due to an elbow injury, looked fit and hungry for the title.

Momentum in the finale changes constantly

But as so often in the tournament, Zverev improved after a weak first set. His first serve rate increased significantly, and he increasingly won the long rallies. Alcaraz, on the other hand, made more mistakes.

From the third set onwards, the momentum changed back and forth constantly. When Alcaraz served to win the set, Zverev once again showed his nerves of steel and won the re-break with an outstanding cross backhand and the set a little later. Alcaraz, who had to take a medical time-out in the fourth set due to thigh problems, fought back. In the fifth set, Zverev made more easy errors again.

For the first time since 2005, two newcomers to the finals in Paris faced each other – but Zverev and Alcaraz know each other well from numerous duels. Accordingly, the match was tactically focused, but rarely of a high standard. The noticeable wind on Court Philippe Chatrier also seemed to be bothering both players.

Swiatek wins French Open women’s singles

In the women’s final on Saturday, 23-year-old Iga Swiatek became the youngest four-time winner of a Grand Slam tournament on clay court with an impressive 6:2, 6:1 victory against the hopeless outsider Jasmine Paolini from Italy. “There is only one Queen of Paris!” wrote the Polish newspaper “Fakt”. However, Swiatek thinks comparisons with clay court king Rafael Nadal are somewhat exaggerated: “For me, he is above all others, he is a total legend.”

Paolini could not console herself with the doubles title on Sunday either. Alongside her compatriot Sara Errani, the Italian lost the final against US star Coco Gauff and Katerina Siniakova from the Czech Republic 6:7 (5:7), 3:6.

Source: Stern

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