ATP Roland Garros: Alexander Zverev downs Carlos Alcaraz in clash of titans



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ATP Roland Garros: Alexander Zverev downs Carlos Alcaraz in clash of titans

World no. 3 Alexander Zverev is through to his fifth semi-final at Majors following an epic victory over Carlos Alcaraz on Court Philippe-Chatrier. Alexander is through into the last four for the second straight year at Roland Garros following a 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 triumph over Alcaraz in three hours and 18 minutes.

Zverev barely survived the second-round clash against Sebastian Baez, defending a match point in a five-setter thriller and raising his level after that. The German had lost all 11 encounters against the top-10 rivals at Majors ahead of today's clash versus an in-form youngster.

He gave his best to end a terrible streak and remain on the title course, facing Novak Djokovic or Rafael Nadal in the semi-final. Carlos claimed 14 consecutive wins on clay this spring, conquering Barcelona and Madrid and hoping for more in Paris.

A teenager became the youngest Roland Garros quarter-finalist since Novak Djokovic in 2006, but he could not reach the next round despite a valiant effort. 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. Zverev forged the advantage in the shortest rallies up to four strokes, while nothing separated them in the more advanced exchanges.

The opening set saw eight comfortable holds and two that offered chances to the returners. Alexander saved a break point in the second game to avoid an early setback. He grabbed a break at 2-2 with a sharp return and served well in the remaining games to claim the opener 6-4.

Alexander Zverev toppled Carlos Alcaraz after a thrilling battle.

Carlos took one point more on the return in the second set but could not seize his opportunities. He wasted a break point at 2-1 and lost serve in game seven after a failed attack at the net.

The Spaniard missed a break point in game ten, and the German clinched the third set point with an ace for 6-4, 6-4 after an hour and 29 minutes. The third set saw eight commanding holds on both sides before Alcaraz faced a break point in the ninth game.

Facing elimination, the youngster placed a perfect drop shot winner to save it and bring the game home. With a boost on his side, Carlos broke at 15 in game ten to wrap up the set and extend his chances. Like set number three, the fourth saw good serving on both sides until 4-4.

This time, Zverev broke Alcaraz in the ninth game and served for the victory in the next one. Giving his 120%, Carlos broke back with a backhand winner to lock the result at 5-5 and extend the drama. The set went into a tie break, and a teenager earned a set point at 5-5 with a cracking backhand down the line.

Zverev saved it after the rival's backhand mistake and squandered the first match point at 7-6. Alcaraz denied it, but it was not to be for him, as Zverev seized the second at 8-7 with a backhand down the line return winner that sent him into the last four.