Carlos Alcaraz will compete at this week's ATP 250 event in Buenos Aires, seeking his season's first title. Asked to pick his pivotal clay-court event of the season, the young Spaniard placed the Olympic Games above Roland Garros, dreaming about winning a gold medal for Spain.
Carlos will compete at the Olympic Games for the first time in July, returning to Paris after seeking his first Roland Garros title in June. The young gun debuted in the main draw at Roland Garros in 2021, passing three qualifying rounds and two rivals en route to the last 32, losing to Jan-Lennard Struff in straight sets.
Two years ago, the Spaniard passed four obstacles in Paris and moved into the quarter-final, falling to Alexander Zverev after a massive battle.
Last June, Alcaraz went a step further and notched his first semi-final in Paris following a rock-solid victory over the reigning runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Thus, Carlos set the blockbuster clash with Novak Djokovic, seeking a place in his second Major final. Two rivals shared the opening two sets before Novak stepped in and produced a 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 win in three hours and 23 minutes.
Carlos could not endure the pressure despite taking the second set, feeling cramps in his entire body in sets three and four and ending his campaign in the last four. Djokovic was off to a better start, serving well and delivering a break in the fourth game with a winner at the net.
Novak saved three break points in the seventh game and earned a set point on the return at 5-2.
Carlos Alcaraz would love to win the Olympic Games gold medal in Paris.
Carlos denied it, held and created a break chance in game nine with a lob winner.
The Serb erased it with a powerful serve and fired another for 6-3 after challenging 56 minutes. They served well in the second set before Alcaraz scored his first break in game seven for a 4-3 lead. The Spaniard served for the set at 5-3, and the Serb pulled the break back with a backhand down the line winner.
Novak denied three set points on serve in the next one, surviving and locking the result at 5-5.
Carlos saved a break point in game 11 and clinched a late break a few minutes later, leveling the overall score at 1-1.
However, his dreams of beating a great rival were shuttered in the third game of the third set. Feeling the pain and cramps in his right leg, the young gun received a game penalty and took a medical timeout that did not help him.
Novak clinched six straight games, winning the set 6-1 and marching toward the top. The Serb extended his streak and opened a 5-0 lead in the fourth set. He served for the triumph in game seven and fired three winners, holding at 15 and moving into the title clash.
"I pick the Olympic Games over Roland Garros this year. I would love to win the Olympic title for my country. There is no greater thing in sport. I would love to conquer both events in Paris, but the Olympic Games are above everything," Carlos Alcaraz said.