Alexander Zverev Bows Out of Stuttgart After Exhausting Roland Garros

Alexander Zverev needs more time to rest his body ahead of Halle

by Jovica Ilic
Alexander Zverev Bows Out of Stuttgart After Exhausting Roland Garros
© Clive Brunskill / Staff - Getty Images Sport

As was expected, world no. 4 Alexander Zverev withdrew from this week's ATP 250 Stuttgart event. The Roland Garros finalist postponed the start of his grass-court swing and will return to action in Halle next week. Zverev debuted in Stuttgart on clay in 2014 and played two editions on the grass in 2015 and 2019.

He suffered a loss to Dustin Brown five years ago, never returning to Stuttgart. Alexander played 13 matches in Rome and Paris, lifting the trophy at For Italico and losing his second Major final to Carlos Alcaraz at Roland Garros.

Zverev cited fatigue and withdrew from Stuttgart, needing a few days to rest his body ahead of his first matches on the fastest surface. The German spent over 23 hours on the court in seven Roland Garros matches, falling on the last step and finishing runner-up.

Alexander defeated the 14-time champion Rafael Nadal in the first round, ousting the legend after over three hours.

Alexander Zverev © Getty Images Sport - Dan Istitene

Zverev beat David Goffin in round two before experiencing his usual struggle at Majors, playing five-setters against Tallon Griekspoor and Holger Rune.

The German prevailed in both, entering the quarter-final and setting the clash against Alex de Minaur. Alexander reached his fourth consecutive Roland Garros semi-final with a 6-4, 7-6, 6-4 victory in two hours and 59 minutes.

Zverev claimed eight points more than his rival and prevailed in the pivotal moments, especially in the second set. The Aussie struggled to find the first serve, playing against six break points and suffering five breaks. The German denied five out of eight break points in a match with 100 unforced errors.

Alexander erased a massive deficit in the second set tie break and sealed the deal with a double break in the third set. Zverev met Casper Ruud in the semi-final and earned a 2-6, 6-2, 6-4, 6-2 victory, reaching his second Major final at 27.

Alexander Zverev, Roland Garros 2024© Dan Istitene / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Alexander Zverev withdrew from Stuttgart following the Roland Garros final.

The Norwegian toppled the German in straight sets a year ago in the same round.

Casper made a flying start last week before experiencing stomach issues, losing ground and falling in sets two, three and four. Thus, Zverev arranged the title clash against Carlos Alcaraz. The two rivals embraced a thrilling duel, with the Spaniard scoring a 6-3, 2-6, 5-7, 6-1, 6-2 triumph in four hours and 19 minutes, keeping the German empty-handed.

Alexander took charge in the second set and erased a massive deficit in the third, rattling off five games and moving closer to his first Major title. However, Carlos raised his level and dropped only three games in sets four and five, lifting his third Major title at 21.

The German served at 73%, but it did not give him much. He struggled behind the second set and lost 45% of the points in his games, facing 16 break points and suffering nine breaks. The Spaniard got broken six times, overcoming a deficit and emerging at the top in style.

Alexander Zverev, Roland Garros 2024© Dan Istitene / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Alcaraz was the more aggressive player, although they both hit a bit more unforced errors than winners. The young gun earned the advantage in the shortest, mid-range and most extended rallies, overcoming all the challenges and celebrating the title.

They kicked off the action with breaks before Alcaraz raised his level. The Spaniard clinched breaks in games five and nine for 6-3 in 43 minutes. Eager to fight, Zverev took charge in the second set, facing no break points and pressuring his opponent.

Alcaraz saved three break points in the first game before spraying a forehand error at 2-2, losing serve and falling behind. Alexander clinched another break in game seven after the rival's double fault and secured the set with a forehand winner at 5-2, leveling the overall score at 1-1 after an hour and 35 minutes.

The Spaniard recovered his game in the third set, opening a 3-2 advantage and pushing strong on the return in the next one.

Alexander Zverev © Getty Images Sport - Dan Istitene

Alcaraz saved three break points in the seventh game, building a massive 5-2 advantage and looking good to move in front.

However, Zverev kept his composure and outplayed his young opponent in the remaining games. Zverev pulled the break back in game nine, held in the next one for 5-5 and made another push on the return in game 11. The German notched his second straight break, opening a 6-5 advantage and serving for the set.

Alexander saved a break point and closed the set, rattling off five games and moving in front after two hours and 40 minutes. The young gun had to raise his level to extend his chances, and he did that in style in the fourth set.

Alexander Zverev, Roland Garros 2024© Dan Istitene / Staff - Getty Images Sport

The Spaniard served well and grabbed three consecutive breaks, securing the set 6-1 and gathering a boost ahead of the decider.

The final set offered break points in five straight games, and Alcaraz played better in the pivotal moments. Carlos moved in front and faced four break points in the next one, denying one after a controversial call and producing a crucial hold. Alcaraz grabbed another break at 4-2 and held in the next one, celebrating his first Roland Garros title.

Alexander Zverev Roland Garros