The 20-year-old Carlos Alcaraz will lead the seeds at a Major for the first time in Paris. The Spaniard became world no. 1 on Monday for the third time despite an early Rome Masters loss, heading the Roland Garros field ahead of Novak Djokovic.
Alcaraz conquered Barcelona and Madrid before heading to Rome. The young Spaniard could have played better on his Foro Italico debut, falling in the third round to a qualifier Fabian Marozsan in straight sets. Carlos' compatriot Alex Corretja believes it was a good defeat for the young gun, giving him time to relax and prepare for the season's second Major.
Alcaraz went home and trained with his coach Juan Carlos Ferrero, using the Roland Garros balls. World no. 1 arrived in Paris and will start the final preparations ahead of his first duel. The 20-year-old led the ATP Race before Rome, winning four titles in 2023 and securing at least three more no.
1 weeks. Carlos conquered Buenos Aires, Indian Wells, Barcelona and Madrid, setting his eyes on the fifth crown in Paris. The Spaniard debuted at Roland Garros in 2021 at 18, passing three qualifying rounds to enter the main draw and falling in the third round to Jan-Lennard Struff.
A year ago, Alcaraz reached the quarter-final in Paris, battling against Alexander Zverev for a place in the last four. Two rivals fought for three hours and 18 minutes, and the German prevailed 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 to set the clash against Rafael Nadal.
Carlos gave his best on Court Philippe-Chatrier, missing a set point in the fourth set tie break and losing a match after 14 consecutive victories.
Carlos Alcaraz will be the top seed at Roland Garros.
It was Alexander's first top-10 victory at Majors, achieving it at 25!
The German served at 71% and threw everything he had at his opponent. Zverev saved four out of six break points and delivered three return games from eight opportunities to seal the deal ahead of the decider. Alexander had 39 winners and 34 unforced errors, matching the rival's pace and reducing the number of mistakes.
Alcaraz counted 46 winners and 56 errors, spraying too many loose strokes and missing a set point in the fourth set's tie break to plague his chances. Carlos will seek a better run in the next two weeks, ready to chase his second Major crown.
"For me, the Rome Masters loss was the best thing it could happen to Carlos. It gave him time off the court, resting and heading to Paris much fresher. Carlos relaxed for a few days and started preparing for Roland Garros. There are no alarm bells of anything to worry about; it's the opposite.
Carlos will be even more careful, knowing everyone plays well. Also, he gathered experience from the last year's quarter-final and will be much more relaxed this time. There is no Rafael Nadal, and the attention will be on him, especially in Spain.
However, I believe he is ready to deal with it. He has been handling the situation nicely, and I think he can do well in Paris," Alex Corretja said.