Carlos Alcaraz mirrors Rod Laver and Manolo Santana with Roland Garros feat

Carlos Alcaraz performed two comebacks en route to the Roland Garros title

by Jovica Ilic
Carlos Alcaraz mirrors Rod Laver and Manolo Santana with Roland Garros feat
© Clive Brunskill / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Carlos Alcaraz claimed his first Roland Garros title on Sunday, becoming the youngest player with a notable trophy on all three surfaces! The young Spaniard beat Jannik Sinner and Alexander Zverev after ultimate challenges, writing history and mirroring the achievements from the early 60s!

Namely, Alcaraz toppled both rivals from two sets to one down, prevailing in five-setters and lifting the trophy in style. Thus, the Spaniard became the first player since legendary Rold Laver in 1962 to conquer Roland Garros with five-setter triumphs in the semi-final and final.

Also, Carlos is the first player since his compatriot Manolo Santana in 1961 to win the Roland Garros crown after trailing two sets to one in the semi-final and final! Alcaraz met his great rival and newly-crowned world no.

1 Jannik Sinner in the semi-final battle and scored a 2-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 triumph in four hours and nine minutes, advancing into his third Major final.

Carlos Alcaraz, Roland Garros 2024© Tim Goode / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

The Italian forged two advantages but failed to bring the victory home.

The Spaniard embraced 11 consecutive holds since the closing stages of the third set, keeping the pressure on the other side and ousting the newly-crowned world no. 1. Alcaraz had the upper hand, landing 65 winners and 58 unforced errors while leaving his rival on negative ratio.

Each player grabbed six breaks, and the Spaniard delivered his in the pivotal moments, taking two points fewer than the Italian but emerging at the top. Carlos lost serve three times in the opening set despite serving at 81%, making a slow start and sending a boost to the other side.

Jannik broke in the first game and cemented the lead with a backhand winner in the next one. The Italian clinched another break in the third set, extending the gap and landing a service winner for 4-0.

Carlos Alcaraz, Roland Garros 2024© Getty Images Sport

Carlos Alcaraz trailed two sets to one in the Roland Garros semi-final and final.

The Spaniard pulled one break back in game six before experiencing another loose service game, falling 5-2 behind and allowing world no.

2 to serve for the set. Jannik held in game eight, taking the opener 6-2 after 40 minutes. Carlos lost serve again at the beginning of the second set, falling 6-2, 2-0 behind and struggling to follow the rival's pace. Alcaraz launched his comeback with a break in the fourth game, firing a forehand winner and gaining momentum.

The Spaniard secured another break in game six and wrapped up the set with a service winner at 5-3, erasing the overall deficit after an hour and a half. Sinner played well in the third set despite physical issues, outplaying Alcaraz in the middle games and securing back-to-back breaks for 4-2.

The Italian served for the set in game nine and held at 15, moving a set away from the final after two hours and 28 minutes. The fourth set saw nine fine holds, and Jannik needed another at 4-5.

Carlos Alcaraz, Roland Garros 2024© Tim Goode / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

Carlos made a late push on the return in game ten, especially after the rival's routine smash error in the fourth point.

The Spaniard clinched a break with a backhand winner, clinching the set and forcing a decider after three hours and 15 minutes. With a boost on his side, Carlos hit a forehand winner in the second game of the final set, extending his streak and gathering the advantage.

Alcaraz forged a 3-0 lead with a drop shot winner in the third game and clinched the seventh after a deuce for 5-2. The Spaniard served for the victory at 5-3 and converted the third match point after a forced error, booking a place in the title clash.

The young gun faced Alexander Zverev in the final and scored a 6-3, 2-6, 5-7, 6-1, 6-2 victory in four hours and 19 minutes, becoming the Rolland Garros champion and lifting his third Major title at 21!

Carlos Alcaraz, Roland Garros 2024© Tim Goode / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

Like in the semi-final, Carlos overcame a challenging period, dropping five straight games in consecutive sets before raising his level and leaving his opponent behind in sets four and five.

Alexander stood close to his first Major title after a massive turnaround in the third set. However, he lost the ground after that, propelling his rival toward tennis history. The German served at 73% but drew nothing from that, dropping 45% of the points in his games and getting broken nine times from 16 chances offered to the Spaniard.

Carlos lost serve six times, struggling in sets two and three before making a fresh start. Alcaraz secured three breaks in the opener and grabbed it 6-3 after 43 minutes. Zverev served well in the second set and kept the pressure on world no.

3. Carlos survived the opening game before getting broken at 2-2 after a forehand error.

Carlos Alcaraz, Roland Garros 2024© Clive Brunskill / Staff - Getty Images Sport

The The Spaniard hit a double fault in the seventh game, falling 5-2 behind before the German closed the set with a forehand winner in the next one.

Thus, Zverev rattled off five games and leveled the overall score after an hour and 35 minutes. Carlos played well in the first half of the third set, breaking Alexander in the sixth game and denying three break points in the seventh game for 5-2.

Suddenly, Zverev pulled the break back in game nine to prolong the set and held in the next one for 5-5 and a boost. The German broke again in the 11th game and saved a break point while serving for the set at 6-5, rattling off five games for the second straight sets and moving closer to his first Major title.

Carlos Alcaraz, Roland Garros 2024© Dan Istitene / Staff - Getty Images Sport

With no room for errors, Alcaraz shifted into a higher gear in the fourth set, serving well and notching three breaks. The young gun claimed the set 6-1, recovering physically and mentally and looking like the favorite ahead of the decider.

Carlos grabbed the pivotal moments of the final set. Alexander sprayed a backhand error in the third game and lost serve. He squandered four break chances in the next one (one after a controversial call) and created another at 2-3.

Alcaraz denied it with a serve & volley combo and held for 4-2. The 21-year-old fired a forehand down the line winner in the seventh game, earning a break at love and celebrating his first Roland Garros title with a hold at 15 at 5-2.

Carlos Alcaraz Manolo Santana Roland Garros