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Carlos Alcaraz’s French Open victory eclipses record set by Rafael Nadal

Carlos Alcaraz with ballkids
Alcaraz celebrated with the French Open ballkids and now plans to get a tattoo of the Eiffel Tower - Getty Images/Tim Goode

Carlos Alcaraz is fast becoming the saviour of tennis. By beating Alexander Zverev to earn his first Roland Garros title, the Spaniard brought some much-needed shine to what had previously been a fractious tournament.

The first week of this French Open had been a story of waterlogged courts, of restless spectators and of booze bans. But the sun shone on a riveted Parisian crowd, both literally and metaphorically, throughout this memorable Sunday afternoon.

Alcaraz was not faultless in his 6-3, 2-6, 5-7, 6-1, 6-2 victory. He plays by feel and instinct, and there are times – as with any creative – when the juices refuse to flow. This was certainly the case in a second set where he lost five straight games to completely surrender the momentum.

But there were also plenty of moments to make you gasp. None were more timely than the single-handed backhand passing shot that Alcaraz conjured in the penultimate game, all while scooting laterally across the court so swiftly that he could have been on wheels.

No wonder the fans were chanting Alcaraz’s name in that final set. On one side of the net we had Zverev, the tall German whose run to the final had been overshadowed by his involvement in a domestic violence trial in Berlin.

On the other, a player who can pull winners out of thin air in any number of ways, whether by larruping 100mph forehands or feathering the daintiest of drop shots. The French fans gave Zverev plenty of appreciation, but if global popularity won slams, it would have been a triple-bagel.

There was a sense of relief among the commentariat. “We need Carlos Alcaraz more than anything in our sport at the moment,” said Eurosport pundit – and three-time French Open champion – Mats Wilander. “He will change the way people look at tennis.”

Boris Becker added his own tribute, despite being an enthusiastic supporter of Zverev. “In my eyes, he’s better at 21 than Nadal, Djokovic or Federer were at the same age,” Becker said. “And then the way he presents himself – you just have to like him.”

Alcaraz’s win was also saluted on social media by Rafael Nadal, the fellow Spaniard who created a one-man dynasty on this court. “Congratulations for this immense victory!!!!” said Nadal, doling out punctuation marks as liberally as compliments. “Very happy for your successes!!!”

Nadal cannot have been too bothered about the record that he had just lost. Until now, he had been the youngest man to win major titles on all three surfaces, completing the set by landing the Australian Open at the age of 22. At just 21, Alcaraz has undercut Nadal by more than a year.

Another remarkable statistic can be found in Alcaraz’s record in five-setters. He has gone the distance 12 times at this level and been beaten only once, by Matteo Berrettini at the 2022 Australian Open.

Against Zverev, he maintained his high-energy style throughout the full match duration of four hours and 19 minutes, despite taking a medical time-out in the fourth set for treatment on his left leg. And this endurance was all the more remarkable considering that he had also come back from a two-sets-to-one deficit against Jannik Sinner on Friday. Alcaraz’s ability to keep attacking, keep trying different variations and – above all – to keep scurrying around the court is unparallelled.

Zverev on Alcaraz: ‘He’s a beast’

“We’re both physically strong,” said Zverev after the match, “but he’s a beast. He’s an animal, for sure. The intensity he plays tennis at is different to other people. You know, he can do so many different things, right?”

Zverev also expressed his frustration at the dubious line-call that saved Alcaraz from a double-fault at a crucial point in the deciding set. Hawk-Eye suggested that the ball had been out, but umpire Renaud Lichtenstein may have identified the wrong mark on the clay. Had there been electronic line-calling, as is expected next year, then Zverev would have broken back for 2-2 in the fifth.

“The fifth set, f---, there was some unlucky moments,” said Zverev. “I heard that at 2-1, the second serve was out. But it is what it is. Look, he played fantastic. He played better than me the fourth and fifth set.”

Alcaraz told Eurosport after the match that “I had a lot of doubts. I feel like my shots were not putting Sascha in trouble. But it was the final of a grand slam. It was the time to find the tactics and find solutions. Then in the fifth set, it was time to give everything I had.”

He also promised to get a new tattoo, this one of the Eiffel Tower, to match the two he already has. There is a date on his arm to mark the US Open victory of 2022 and a strawberry on his leg for last summer’s Wimbledon. When he lands the Australian Open – which feels like a matter of time – he will complete not only the career grand slam, but also have a tattoo for each limb.


Alcaraz beats Zverev to win French Open – as it happened


07:38 PM BST

Thanks for joining us

That’s it for our French Open coverage. Another thrilling two weeks of tennis. Iga Swiatek became the women’s champion for the fourth time on Saturday and Alcaraz showed why he is the real deal once again.

The grass court season starts on Monday and culminates with Wimbledon, which starts on July 1.


07:26 PM BST

A changing of the guard in men’s tennis

The new world No 1 and No 2 in the rankings.

New king of clay emerges as Carlos Alcaraz beats Alexander Zverev to win French Open

07:15 PM BST

More reaction from Alcaraz

I have loved to have part of my family here. My Mum, my Dad, my Brother, I have loved having you here. All of the support you have given to me since being a little kid. I used to watch this tournament on the TV and now I’m holding the trophy so thank you very much.

Everyone is a really important part to making this tournament special. It’s not easy to do that, we complain a lot, but you all do a great job. Thank you to everyone.

The crowd have been great since the first match until today. The support has been unbelievable in the matches and practice. I’ll see you soon, for sure. Thank you.


07:10 PM BST

Alcaraz reacts

First of all, I want to congratulate Sascha for a great tournament. Unbelievable the level you are playing and the work you are putting in every day. Everything you have been through the last years in this court. I’m pretty sure you will win Slams and this tournament very, very soon so keep going and congratulations.

My team have been incredible the last month. We were struggling a lot with the injury. Coming back from Madrid, I didn’t feel well. Coming here and not practicing too much on the court. I’m grateful to have the team that I have. I know everyone in my team is giving their heart to help me improve. I call this a team but it’s a family.

New king of clay emerges as Carlos Alcaraz beats Alexander Zverev to win French Open
Carlos Alcaraz and Alexander Zverev pose with Gilles Moretton, President of the French Federation of Tennis, and Bjorn Borg - Getty Images /Dan Istitene

06:58 PM BST

Zverev reacts

First of all, in relation to Carlos, third Grand Slam, 21-years-old, it’s incredible. You’ve won three different ones, you are already a hall-of-famer, you have won so much and you’re only 21. An incredible player and not the last time you are going to win this.

To the [Alcaraz] team, well done. I wish I could say otherwise, but too good today. All of you are unbelievably nice guys so I’m happy for you. Not today, but generally I am happy for you.


06:50 PM BST

Some stats courtesy of Stats Perform

  • Carlos Alcaraz (21 years and 35 days) is the second youngest player in the Open Era to win all his first three Men’s Singles Grand Slam finals, older only than Bjorn Borg (20 years and 27 days).

  • Alcaraz (21 years and 35 days) is the youngest player in the Open Era to win Men’s Singles titles at three different Grand Slam events.

  • Alcaraz (13) has taken the fewest Men’s Singles main draws appearances of any player in the Open Era to win Grand Slam titles on grass, clay and hard courts.

  • Carlos Alcaraz (21 years and 35 days) is the youngest player in the Open Era to win Men’s Singles Grand Slam titles on clay, grass and hard courts.


06:47 PM BST

The king of clay hails the new prince

Congratulations Carlos for this immense victory!!!! Big!!!! Very happy for your successes!!! Vamos!


06:42 PM BST

History maker

Hard court. Grass. Clay. Carlos Alcaraz becomes the 7th and youngest man to win a grand slam on all three surfaces.

New king of clay emerges as Carlos Alcaraz beats Alexander Zverev to win French Open
Carlos Alcaraz celebrates as he wins the French Open - AP/Thibault Camus

06:38 PM BST

Heartbreak for Zverev

Zverev is forced to sit and stare ahead as Alcaraz celebrates with his family, friends and coaches in the stands.

A contrast in emotions.


06:37 PM BST

WATCH: The moment Alcaraz became champion


06:32 PM BST

Alcaraz 6-3, 2-6, 5-7, 6-1, 6-2 Zverev*

Can Alcaraz finish the job here and now?!

Another brutal rally dominated by Alcaraz, who is crushing the ball and Zverev nets a tired looking backhand, 15-0. Alcaraz forehand long, 15-15. Alcaraz drop shot, Zverev hunts it down but flicks the ball into the tramlines, 30-15. Zverev forehand long, two championship points.

GAME SET CHAMPIONSHIP ALCARAZ!! 

Zverev forehand into the net. Alcaraz collapses to the clay. What a match.


06:26 PM BST

‘Serve volleying like Tim Henman’

Alcaraz is trying to shorten points here because I don’t think he has much left in his legs. Serve volleying like Tim Henman! Well, it took Henman to the semi-finals here in 2004, so why not.


06:26 PM BST

Alcaraz* 6-3, 2-6, 5-7, 6-1, 5-2 Zverev

Strong start to the game by Alcaraz. He summons the energy to bully Zverev then whip a forehand into the corner, 0-15. He wants that double break.

More punishing forehands from Alcaraz and Zverev can’t handle the heat. Oh wow. Alcaraz with an outrageous sliding backhand that clips the net and zips past Zverev, who can’t believe it and looks at his opponent with disdain. Three break points.

ALCARAZ FOREHAND WINNER. He breaks to love and will serve for the championship.


06:21 PM BST

Alcaraz 6-3, 2-6, 5-7, 6-1, 4-2 Zverev*

Another twist in this pulsating final? Alcaraz looks to be aggressive but Zverev dips a backhand pass low and the Spaniard nets a volley, 15-30.

Alcaraz responds with an overhead winner followed by a forehand winner, 40-30.Alcaraz backhand into the net, deuce. He didn’t look comfortable move to his left.

Great hustle by Zverev to reach Alcaraz’s delicate half volley and force the error from Alcaraz. Break point. Saved again with a serve and volley winner.

Alcaraz holds when Zverev slices a tired backhand into the net. He’s two games away from glory.


06:12 PM BST

Alcaraz* 6-3, 2-6, 5-7, 6-1, 3-2 Zverev

Not breaking Zverev has hurt him. Alcaraz senses blood and earns a break point with a backhand down the line. It’s saved by Zverev with an angled backhand that barely catches the sideline.

And he holds with a backhand winner to just about keep himself in the set. He had to win that game.


06:04 PM BST

Alcaraz 6-3, 2-6, 5-7, 6-1, 3-1 Zverev*

Another visit from the physio for Alcaraz but no treatment given. But now it is Alcaraz making careless errors. He nets a drop shot and it is 0-30.

Great defence by Zverev to stay in the rally and he forces Alcaraz to play an extra ball and the Spaniard flicks a forehand into the tramlines. Terrible miss. Three break points for Zverev.

Alcaraz saves the first with a forehand winner. Alcaraz goes down the T with a second serve and it’s called out. The umpire overrules and says it was in. And now Alcaraz gets a first set. Zverev is furious and convinced the ball is out. Nevertheless play continues and Alcaraz saves the second break point. One more to come...

Booom! Huge Alcaraz forehand winner catches the line and zips past Zverev. 0-40 to deuce. Wow.

One of the points of the tournament. The crowd are on their feet. Sensational defence by Alcaraz. He keeps making Zverev play one extra ball but finally, Zverev finishes the point with an overhead smash winner. Break point.

Saved by Alcaraz when Zverev nets a return. Alcaraz wide serve followed by a drop shot winner. It is a play he’s used often and it’s worked again. What a hold. What a game.


05:52 PM BST

Alcaraz* 6-3, 2-6, 5-7, 6-1, 2-1 Zverev

Oh no. Pressure? Back-to-back volley errors from Zverev, 0-30. Will that prove costly? Wow. Zverev double fault. Alcaraz has three break point chances. Shocking service game by the German.

Alcaraz wastes the first. But not the second. Zverev pushes a backhand long. Alcaraz breaks. That has to be Zverev’s worst game of the tournament.


05:48 PM BST

Alcaraz 6-3, 2-6, 5-7, 6-1, 1-1 Zverev*

A shadow has appeared over half the court. It’s nearly 7pm in Paris. Alcaraz holds to 30 to level the set.


05:43 PM BST

Fifth Set: Alcaraz* 6-3, 2-6, 5-7, 6-1, 0-1 Zverev

So we are going the distance! Alcaraz is clearly dealing with a leg issue. The physio comes out and gives him another leg rub. Zverev’s total time on court for the tournament is now 24 hours. He must be exhausted.

Zverev protects his serve in the opening game holding to 15.

Zverev’s record in five-set matches is 20-9. Alcaraz 11-1.


05:36 PM BST

Alcaraz 6-3, 2-6, 5-7, 6-1 Zverev*

Errors beginning to pile up for both players. And Zverev has break points at 15-40. Two wild groundstrokes by the German though take the game to deuce.

Alcaraz goes for an ambitious drop shot, gets it wrong and nets. Break point Zverev. Saved by Alcaraz with a forehand winner. Zverev looks at his box. He can’t believe he left his shot so short to be attacked.

Alcaraz ace. Just his third of the match. But what a time for it. Set point. Zverev slices a backhand drop shot into the net and Alcaraz forces a decider.

A fitting way to close out the tournament.


05:30 PM BST

‘He already has some tape on it’

Alcaraz had his left leg rubbed and manipulated at the changeover. He already has some tape on it. Could be a factor if he takes this to five sets.


05:29 PM BST

Alcaraz* 6-3, 2-6, 5-7, 5-1 Zverev

A break in play as Alcaraz receives treatment for a left thigh issue. His movement hasn’t looked inhibited so this is a surprise. It would be terrible if this match was decided by an injury. Let’s hope this is nothing serious.

Zverev took full advantage of Friday when Casper Ruud was unwell. He will want to test Alcaraz’s movement in this game but instead he faces a break point after a backhand into the tramlines. Alcaraz goes for too much with a forehand and it’s deuce.

Another surprising miss by Zverev on the backhand side and he gifts Alcaraz a break point. Zverev forehand into the net and Alcaraz does break. That was a very careless game by Zverev but Alcaraz won’t care. He has the double break again and will serve for the set next.


05:20 PM BST

Alcaraz 6-3, 2-6, 5-7, 4-1 Zverev*

It looks like we are heading to a fifth set here which is what this match deserves because it has been so tight.

But maybe Zverev isn’t ready to give up on this set just yet. A backhand down the line winner gives him two break points at 15-40. And he takes them at the first attempt when he chases down a short angled Alcaraz volley and flicks a backhand cross court for a winner.


05:15 PM BST

Alcaraz* 6-3, 2-6, 5-7, 4-0 Zverev

Zverev is showing willingness to come forward but too often not doing enough and Alcaraz is punishing him at the moment.

Double fault by Zverev. His second serve missed by a long way. A clear sign of tension. Break point. That is gorgeous from Alcaraz. With Zverev deep behind the baseline, Alcaraz hits the perfect drop shot to break.


05:09 PM BST

Alcaraz 6-3, 2-6, 5-7, 3-0 Zverev*

Emphatic service hold to love from Alcaraz. He consolidates the break and now Zverev has to come up with the solutions.


05:07 PM BST

Alcaraz* 6-3, 2-6, 5-7, 2-0 Zverev

Zverev decides to leave a desperate Alcaraz lob and it is a bad misjudgment because the ball lands in, 15-30. Could that be a turning point.

Zverev forehand is called out. He’s convinced it is in. Umpire checks the mark and confirms the call. Two break points.

Alcaraz wastes the first. But not the second. He forces Zverev to come forward, good volley by Zverev but Alcaraz whips a banana-like forehand down the line and the ball which looks like it is heading out bends inside the line. Stunning way to break serve.


05:01 PM BST

Fourth Set: Alcaraz 6-3, 2-6, 5-7, 1-0 Zverev*

The fourth set has started as the last one ended with Alcaraz forced to weather the storm coming from Zverev. The Spaniard is not happy with the state of the court. The wind is picking up on the far side and making it tricky. But Alcaraz comes through with a hold to 15.


04:54 PM BST

Alcaraz* 6-3, 2-6, 5-7 Zverev

Serve and volley winner from Zverev, 15-0. Perfectly executed. Alcaraz then hits a wild backhand. His mind is completely muddled at the moment.

Better from Alcaraz as he gets his forehand into play, displays controlled aggression and forces the error, 30-15. Big forehand into Zverev’s backhand and the German can’t handle the pace. Big point coming up.

What a serve. Perfect time to find an ace, the ball swerving away from Alcaraz. Set point. Three consecutive moonballs from Alcaraz then Zverev goes long with a backhand, deuce.

Alcaraz earns himself a lifeline with a forehand winner down the line, break point. Zverev finds a first set and Alcaraz misses with a forehand return, deuce. Alcaraz doesn’t do enough with his lob and Zverev puts away an overhead smash, set point.

Incredible point. Alcaraz is playing passive and inviting Zverev to attack. The German accepts and despite great defence by Alcaraz, Zverev wins the set when Alcaraz nets a defensive forehand.


04:42 PM BST

Alcaraz 6-3, 2-6, 5-6 Zverev*

Zverev is all over the Alcaraz serve again. High top spin forehand by Zverev, Alcaraz frames a forehand into the stands, 15-40.

He only needs the one! Alcaraz backhand into the net. Zverev breaks and will serve for the set. He’s won 10 out of the last 11 points.


04:39 PM BST

Alcaraz* 6-3, 2-6, 5-5 Zverev

How will Alcaraz respond to that blow? Not well. Zverev holds to love with an ace down the T and the momentum is well and truly with him again.


04:35 PM BST

Alcaraz 6-3, 2-6, 5-4 Zverev*

Zverev’s returns causing problems for Alcaraz, who slips to 0-30. Zverev attempts a backhand down the line but misses. High risk shot and it didn’t pay off for him. He then hits a wild forehand which wasn’t even close to landing in the court.

Alcaraz backhand long, Zverev break point. That was a tight looking shot.

Forehand approach by Alcaraz, Zverev backhand pass and Alcaraz slips as the ball zips past him. Wow. Zverev breaks.


04:31 PM BST

Alcaraz* 6-3, 2-6, 5-3 Zverev

Zverev does what he needs to do and makes Alcaraz serve for the set. Pressure on the Spaniard now.


04:25 PM BST

Alcaraz 6-3, 2-6, 5-2 Zverev*

Back comes Zverev, who is refusing to yield. A volley winner gives Zverev a break point. Cagey rally from both players, Alcaraz slices a backhand onto the baseline and Zverve frames a shot into the stands, deuce.

Third double fault of the set by Alcaraz gives Zverev another break point. Saved by Alcaraz with an overhead winner. Alcaraz misses by some way with a forehand, break point.

Alcaraz drop shot, Zverev hunts it down and digs out a shot but Alcaraz is there to put away the backhand, deuce.

Zverev backhand into the net and Alcaraz holds to move within a game of the set.


04:16 PM BST

‘Zverev didn’t even do much wrong’

What an insane game from Alcaraz out of absolutely nowhere. He had lost 12 straight points on the Zverev serve - and then he found some magical inspiration. Zverev didn’t even do much wrong.


04:16 PM BST

Alcaraz* 6-3, 2-6, 4-2 Zverev

Here comes Alcaraz. The Spaniard goes into attack mode and moves to 0-30 with an overhead winner. Alcaraz forehand down the lines, Zverev defensive squash back into play and Alcaraz puts away the volley. Three break points.

Zverev mis-hits a backhand and Alcaraz breaks to love. Amazing turnaround. Alcaraz has barely won a point on Zverev’s serve, had to survive on his own then breaks to love.


04:10 PM BST

Alcaraz 6-3, 2-6, 3-2 Zverev*

Nice change up from Alcaraz with the drop shot to drag Zverev forward then hit a backhand down the line winner, 30-15. A fourth drop shot winner by Alcaraz makes it 40-15. But Zverev takes the game to deuce when Alcaraz nets a volley.

Alcaraz is nowhere near his best but digs in to hold with a forehand winner down the line.


04:06 PM BST

Alcaraz* 6-3, 2-6, 2-2 Zverev

Super impressive from Zverev as he completes another love hold with an ace down the T. Alcaraz looks lost out there at the moment.


04:02 PM BST

Alcaraz 6-3, 2-6, 2-1 Zverev*

Big roar from Alcaraz as he holds to 15 with a forehand winner down the line. He knows how important it is to stay in front. Could be important when the set enters the business end.


04:01 PM BST

‘Danger signs for Alcaraz’

Danger signs for Alcaraz because that was a perfect service game from Zverev. Every shot was on fire: big serves, a backhand down the line, forehand cross, and then even a squash-shot defensive steal.

Meanwhile, the Alcaraz serve is leaking double-faults now.


03:59 PM BST

Alcaraz* 6-3, 2-6, 1-1 Zverev

Another love hold for Zverev, who continues to have the upper hand. He’s won six of the last seven games.


03:58 PM BST

Third Set: Alcaraz 6-3, 2-6, 1-0 Zverev* (*denotes next server)

The match now becomes a three set battle albeit with 100 minutes of play in their legs. Can Alcaraz respond to the moment and raise his level again? He starts this set with a drop shot winner to complete a service hold. Now he needs to get to work on Zverev’s serve which has looked impenetrable recently.


03:48 PM BST

Alcaraz* 6-3, 2-6 Zverev

Clinical love hold by Zverev to seal the set and his fifth game in a row. Much for Alcaraz to think about now because he has looked hapless in the last 30 minutes.


03:47 PM BST

‘Zverev’s forehand has really powered up’

Zverev’s forehand has really powered up: it’s usually seen as his weakest point but when he’s feeling it he can achieve serious weight and ball speed.

Worth remembering, as he matches Alcaraz’s heavy topspin, that he was one of the players who gave Nadal the most trouble on this court.


03:45 PM BST

Alcaraz 6-3, 2-5 Zverev*

Zverev has well and truly come alive in this match and he is now in the ascendency. He is taking big swings with his forehand and going after Alcaraz’s forehand. That wasn’t the case in the first set.

Alcaraz attempts a drop shot but nets, 30-40. Proactive tennis by Alcaraz, taking charge of the rally and he finishes it with an overhead smash winner.

Back comes Zverev, who targets the backhand side of Alcaraz with a series of forehands and Alcaraz nets a defensive backhand. Break point.

Alcaraz double fault. Didn’t see that coming. Zverev breaks and wins his fourth game in a row.


03:37 PM BST

Alcaraz* 6-3, 2-4 Zverev

Zverev is starting to play the match on his terms. Big first serves, getting the first strike in rallies and more willingness to come into the net. But Alcaraz is unflustered by this as he takes the game to deuce.

Wow. Point of the match. Glorious half volley pick up by Alcaraz but Zverev moves quickly for it and flicks an angled backhand shot for a winner.

Alcaraz nets a forehand return and Zverev consolidates the break.


03:29 PM BST

Alcaraz 6-3, 2-3 Zverev*

Alcaraz responds to going 0-30 down with a really well constructed point, pushing Zverev back and then hitting a delightful drop shot. Alcaraz forehand into the tramlines and Zverev gets two break points.

Tentative point by Zverev, played not to lose it rather than win it and he nets a backhand, 30-40. Alcaraz goes for a big swing on his forehand but frames the ball and it flies into the stands.

Zverev breaks. Game on?


03:24 PM BST

Alcaraz* 6-3, 2-2 Zverev

First love hold of the match goes to Zverev in the 13th game of the match.


03:22 PM BST

‘Where’s that serve-volley, Alexander?’

Alcaraz only broke Zverev twice in the whole of their Australian Open quarter-final, which Zverev dominated from the off and won in four sets. Yet Alcaraz broke serve on three of five attempts in that opening set, and had 15-40 (unconverted) in a fourth.

Zverev, the man with arguably the game’s best serve, has still had only one comfortable hold in the match. It’s partly about the clay taking a little more pace out of the bounce than hard courts, but mainly about Alcaraz playing a genius set. Now, where’s that serve-volley, Alexander?


03:19 PM BST

Alcaraz 6-3, 2-1 Zverev*

Longest rally of the match. 21 shots. Massive ball striking from both and it ends with a massive forehand winner down the line from Alcaraz. Zverev never moved.

He holds to 15 to continue frustrating Zverev.


03:15 PM BST

Alcaraz* 6-3, 1-1 Zverev

Zverev looks a little lost and unsure. He’s not able to cope with the variety of shot from Alcaraz. But he seals an important hold with a rare serve and volley play.


03:12 PM BST

‘Zverev pushed so hard’

Zverev pushed so hard in that game, winning the forehand to forehand battles, but it was Alcaraz’s serve that saved the day despite three break points. He hit four unreturned serves at the crucial moments, which isn’t normally his strong suit.


03:10 PM BST

Second Set: Alcaraz 6-3, 1-0 Zverev*

Perfection by Alcaraz with the drop shot winner, 30-0. It is the ideal tactic with Zverev standing so far back. But after slipping to 40-0, Zverev fight back to deuce and then earns a break point when Alcaraz is too heavy with a lob.

Break point saved by Alcaraz after a perfect one-two punch. But another forehand error by Alcaraz gives Zverev a chance. Saved again when Zverev can’t get his return into play. Alcaraz survives that scare to hold after 11 minutes.


02:59 PM BST

‘What an advert for clay-court tennis’

What a set from Alcaraz. And what an advert for clay-court tennis. This surface responds to the different kinds of spins, so that a super-skilful player like Alcaraz can make it jump up off the bounce, or squat down, or turn right after bouncing. Sad to say, we tend not to make players with these sorts of skills in the UK, because our weather doesn’t suit the maintenance of red clay tennis courts.


02:56 PM BST

Alcaraz* 6-3 Zverev

Awesome half volley pick by Alcaraz and Zverev nets a backhand, 15-30. Wild forehand by Zverev misses the mark by some way, two break points.

Blistering forehand by Alcaraz, Zverev gets the ball back in play but it sits up nicely for Alcaraz to whip an angled forehand winner into the corner.


02:52 PM BST

Alcaraz 5-3 Zverev*

Alcaraz is exuding positive body language at the moment. When he gets his first serve in play, he is dominating the rally. The quality of ball striking from both players is so high at the moment.

38 minutes have flown by as Alcaraz holds to make Zverev serve to stay in the set.


02:48 PM BST

‘Wonder if Zverev might consider serve-volleying’

Fascinating tactical battle here with Alcaraz standing soooo deep to return first serve. It opens up the angle for Zverev’s swinging slice serve, especially on the deuce side.

Wonder if Zverev might consider serve-volleying if he comes under sustained pressure. That’s the way Djokovic defused Medvedev’s deep return position at the US Open last year.


02:46 PM BST

Alcaraz* 4-3 Zverev

Problems for Zverev on serve again as he slips to 15-40. Zverev is trying to be aggressive but can’t keep the unforced error count down. Zverev saves the first break point. And the second. Great point by both players.

Alcaraz drags Zverev to the net with a drop shot, Zverev gets there and pushes a sliced backhand deep, Alcaraz lifts a good lob which Zverev meets well with an overhead smash. Alcaraz anticipates and gets the ball back into play but after the rally settles down he nets a backhand, deuce.

Zverev survives that scare to stay close to Alcaraz in this set.


02:40 PM BST

Alcaraz 4-2 Zverev*

Alcaraz is mixing things up well at the moment. He’s happy at the front and back of the court. He’s looking to drag Zverev forward where he knows the German is uncomfortable. An easy hold to 15 consolidates the break.


02:34 PM BST

Alcaraz* 3-2 Zverev

Alcaraz is seizing the moment here. The Spaniard is rushing Zverev and it brings hin more break points. Another short ball by Zverev, Alcaraz whips a forehand into the corner. Zverev can’t get his running forehand in play and Alcaraz breaks again.


02:31 PM BST

Alcaraz 2-2 Zverev*

Alcaraz gets an easy hold of his own, showing some great touch in the forecourt. Let’s hope the tension of the opening two games has gone.


02:29 PM BST

‘Two nervy players’

I’ve counted nine unforced errors from the first 19 points, almost equally shared between two nervy players. Both men started slowly in the semi-finals as well.


02:26 PM BST

Alcaraz* 1-2 Zverev

Coming into the match Zverev came into the match with 19 hours and 27 minutes of match play in his legs while Alcaraz had been on court for 16 hours and 23 minutes. That would suggest Alcaraz is the fresher player but so far Zverev isn’t showing signs of fatigue. But one to look out for as the match progresses.

First hold of the match goes to Zverev after Alcaraz nets a backhand.


02:23 PM BST

Alcaraz 1-1 Zverev*

The nerves appear to have hit Alcaraz now as he double faults to fall 0-30 down. He then hits a poor drop shot which Zverev reads quickly and flicks a forehand winner into the corner for two break points.

Alcaraz saves the first. But not the second when his cross court backhand drifts wide. Zverev breaks back.


02:19 PM BST

First Set: Carlos Alcaraz* 1-0 Alexander Zverev (*denotes next server)

Hmmmm. Double fault by Zverev to start the match. Another double fault by the German sees him slip to 0-30. He then walks to his chair and changes rackets. What do they say about a worker blaming their tools?

Maybe it was the racket?! Because on his next serve he finds the service box and the Alcaraz can’t get his return into play. Two more first serves in play moves Zverev to 40-30 but a forehand into the tramlines means the game goes to deuce.

Exquisite volley by Alcaraz. He really got down well to meet Zverev’s forehand down the line and he has a break point chance.

Perfect start by the Spaniard. He gets his return in play, Zverev leaves his next ball just a little bit short and Alcaraz runs onto it and whips a forehand winner into the corner. Alcaraz breaks!


02:10 PM BST

Here we go!

It’s showtime on Court Philippe Chatrier as the two finalists walk onto court. Alcaraz definitely received the bigger ovation.

He then won the coin toss and opted to receive first. Early mind games by the Spaniard?


02:06 PM BST

French Open title will not end domestic abuse controversy for Zverev

For most neutrals, picking a player to support during Sunday’s French Open final will not take lengthy consideration. On one side, Carlos Alcaraz, the creative genius who is seen as the saviour of tennis. On the other, Alexander Zverev.

It is perhaps a mercy for the tournament that Zverev’s domestic violence trial was discontinued on Friday morning by a criminal court in Berlin. At least there is no prospect of the Coupe des Mousquetaires being lifted by a man convicted of an offence.

Our tennis correspondent Simon Briggs on the noise surrounding the German finalist here.


01:59 PM BST

Zverev previews the final

Going from basically the US Open final where I was two points away, to being rolled off in a wheelchair here two years ago - it’s all part of my journey.

I’m in the final. I haven’t won yet. I just want to play my best tennis and give myself the best chance. If I’m able to do that and if I am able to lift that trophy, it will mean the world to me.


01:53 PM BST

All smiles for the four time champ Iga Swiatek!

Carlos Alcaraz vs Alexander Zverev: French Open men's final updates
Iga Swiatek poses with the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen during the champions photo shoot - Getty Images/Robert Prange

01:43 PM BST

Hopefully we get some points like this today


01:36 PM BST

Alcaraz previews the final

I always wanted to be one of the best players in the world.

If I want to be one of the best players in the world, I have to be a good player in every surface, like Roger did, Novak, Rafa, Murray. The best players in the world had success in every surface.

So I consider myself a player who adapts very well his style in every surface.


01:26 PM BST

Coco Gauff and Katerina Siniakova storm to Roland Garros doubles title


01:19 PM BST

French Open betting offers and free bets

Having a bet on the tennis? First take a look at these French Open betting offers for the best free bets.


01:14 PM BST

The players have arrived


01:00 PM BST

French Open men’s final

Hello and welcome to coverage of the final day of the French Open which will see Carlos Alcaraz vs Alexander Zverev battle for the men’s title.

It is the first French Open final since 2004 without at least one of Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic or Roger Federer participating.

After Iga Swiatek won for the fourth time on Saturday, Alcaraz and Zverev are aiming for their first Roland Garros. Alcaraz, who already has two grand slam titles to his name, saw off Jannik Sinner in the semi-finals in five thrilling sets.

He said: “I have a special feeling about this tournament. I remember when I finished school, running to my home just to put the TV on and watch the matches here in the French Open.

“I watched a lot of matches. Of course Rafa Nadal dominating this tournament for, let’s say, 14, 15 years. It’s something unbelievable. I wanted to put my name on that list of the Spanish players who won this tournament.

“Not only Rafa. Ferrero, Moya, Costa, a lot of Spanish players, legends from our sport that won this tournament, I really want to put my name on that list, as well.”

Zverev is yet to win a major title and in the previous three years suffered heartbreak in the semi-finals. But at the fourth attempt, he’s into today’s marquee match and feels his time has come.

“I’ve said it before and I’m going to say it now again: I was not ready. I was not ready to win my first Grand Slam final. I was not mature enough. I was maybe too much of a kid still. I didn’t know what the occasion means. And that’s why I lost,” Zverev said.

“I’m 27 years old now. So definitely not a kid anymore. Already getting older. If not now, then when?”

Zverev is on a 12-match winning streak on clay after winning the Rome Masters last month.

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