Stefanos Tsitsipas, Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic have claimed this year's clay-court Masters 1000 titles. The Greek had a chance to lift a pair of those, but he lost the Rome final to Novak Djokovic in straight sets.
Tsitsipas is the last year's Roland Garros finalist, opening two sets to love advantage against Djokovic before falling in five sets. The Greek named Djokovic and Alcaraz as the Roland Garros favorites, placing them above the 13-time winner Rafael Nadal, who has been dealing with a foot injury.
Alcaraz claimed back-to-back titles in Barcelona and Madrid, securing his second Masters 1000 title in front of the home fans after beating Nadal, Djokovic and Zverev within three days! Alcaraz and Djokovic played an epic semi-final, with a teenager prevailing 6-7, 7-5, 7-6 in three hours and 35 minutes.
The encounter saw only three breaks of serve, and the youngster stayed calm in the closing stages of sets two and three to topple world no. 1 and advance into the final. Djokovic climbed back from 4-2 down in the first set and took charge behind the initial shot to keep the pressure on the other side.
The Serb claimed the tie break 7-5 for a massive boost ahead of set number two. The home favorite had no room for errors in the second set, and he kept pushing. The more aggressive player fended off a break chance in games nine and 11 to stay on the positive side.
Carlos clinched the set in the 12th game with a forehand down the line winner to gain a massive boost in front of the partisan crowd. Djokovic survived three break points in the final set's fourth game and two more at 2-3 to stay alive.
Stefanos Tsitsipas spoke about the Roland Garros favorites after losing Rome final.
Alcaraz fended off a break chance in game seven with a service winner, and Novak had a massive opportunity to create three break chances at 4-4.
He missed a routine forehand, and Alcaraz held at 30 for an enormous boost. The Serb denied a match point in game ten with a service winner, and the encounter went into a deciding tie break. Alcaraz moved 3-1 ahead with a backhand down the line bullet and opened a 5-3 lead with a good serve.
Novak stayed in contention with a deep return in the following point before spraying a forehand mistake at 4-5 to face two more match points. He saved the first with a service winner, and Carlos seized the second with a forehand down the line winner to celebrate an epic victory.
"Right now, Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic are the Roland Garros favorites. They have been playing great tennis, and I'm placing them above the rest of the field. I would love to be at their level and challenge them, but I have to improve a couple of elements in my game by Roland Garros.
It's a marathon, like every other Major. Roland Garros takes the most out of you spiritually and physically when you are on the court. Clay court has this ability to squeeze every single part of you. You have to leave everything there.
I'm ready to get a few days of rest and start practicing again to get into that Roland Garros mindset. I enjoy playing in Paris, and I'm hoping for a deep run," Stefanos Tsitsipas said.