Carlos Alcaraz v Alexander Zverev 2024 French Open Roland Garros Men's Final Preview in highly anticipated clash

ATP
Sunday, 09 June 2024 at 16:38
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Unlike the women's final of the 2024 French Open which saw Iga Swiatek crowned for a fourth time, there will be a new winner on the men's side of the draw on Sunday 9 June with Alexander Zverev set to face Carlos Alcaraz in a showpiece clash.
Our preview looks back at their respective routes to the final, leading talking points and their previous meetings. Who comes out on top and becomes champion?

Awesome Alcaraz alleviates injury fears

Carlos Alcaraz could become a three-time Grand Slam champion at the age of only 21 come Sunday. The Spaniard started the fortnight potentially unable to even play due to a forearm injury which nearly saw him withdraw like his semi-final opponent, Jannik Sinner.
But Alcaraz powered through and after withdrawing from Rome spent a block with his coach, Juan Carlos Ferrero training for Roland Garros without over exerting himself and not hitting until necessary. He came into the tournament still saying he wasn't 100% and it hasn't been Alcaraz at his sparkling best but it has been a champion type run.
After only breaking his title duck at Indian Wells earlier in the season, he could go into a pivotal time where he defends Queen's and Wimbledon with some important points banked and the pressure slightly taken off. He could also achieve a dream that many touted him to produce first before he won the US Open and Wimbledon.
Many were quick to make comparisons with Rafael Nadal on the surface and he is very good on the clay. But perhaps those estimations were premature and sealing it around now is very much in keeping with the progression of Carlitos. He hasn't had it all his own way this tournament but has shown real grit and fight to battle through especially in his last round against Jannik Sinner. A highly touted clash and one that perhaps wasn't as entertaining as many thought it would be. It was more of a chess match with Alcaraz being the king and Sinner being the victim of a checkmate after having all of the early moves.
Carlos Alcaraz making money moves during Roland Garros.
Carlos Alcaraz making money moves during Roland Garros.
Albeit prior to that win, he had it his own way in all but one game. He saw off Stefanos Tsitsipas who has a poor record against him. Felix Auger-Aliassime was well beaten in the fourth round. While Sebastian Korda in the third round was also done in three sets. It was perhaps the unheralded Jesper de Jong that caused him the most problems. He hit back in set three and asked Alcaraz some questions. But he rose to the occasion and it was like going up a level on a video game. He didn't go back after he went forward.
Whether he stayed on the level he was next on is another matter, but De Jong posed the questions that a champion may need to answer. Albeit Alcaraz hasn't had the scares that Zverev has had. The difference perhaps though comes with Alcaraz getting over the line in tournaments before. He is experienced in doing so and Zverev has never won a Grand Slam. That might prove vital.

Zverev silences critics and continues from Rome run

Kind of the main showcase of Alexander Zverev rubbing it in the face of all that have doubted him was him telling journalists to stop asking him about his domestic abuse case after his settlement was reached yesterday.
He said that he was innocent as a result of the verdict and didn't want to be asked about it any more. Four years of being constantly asked about allegations surrounding him, Zverev told journalists to move on. Perhaps an even bigger middle finger would be winning the title over the weekend in Paris.
A player that very much has redemption in his veins for many different reasons. From the allegations dominating a tournament where he should've been a leading favourite to being as expected public enemy number one against Rafael Nadal.
To even two years ago facing Nadal and suffering a grotesque ankle injury which put him on the shelf for some time. He has only just recovered from that and he reached the semi-final that year and was so close to defeating the Spaniard. To even breaking a four semi-final run where he lost in three of his previous semi-finals at Roland Garros.
It has been an uphill battle for Zverev both on the court and getting back to his best as well as personally and the court of public opinion stamping their innocent or guilty verdicts about him. Many still will but often throughout, he has let his racquet do the talking. He has often showed admirable ability to shut off what is going on in the background and simply play. He will aim to do so again in the final where he likely won't be favourite but will try to show why he should be.
Alexander Zverev has dealt with a trial both by public opinion and in a Berlin court but won both thus far.
Alexander Zverev has dealt with a trial both by public opinion and in a Berlin court but won both thus far.
Especially given that he perhaps is the most in-form player coming into Roland Garros. He won Rome and was immediately seen as a real contender. The irony to the whole situation is that when it was called the most open Roland Garros in 12 years, the remaining players were the favourites.
Alcaraz with bookmakers and Zverev after winning Rome. Even Casper Ruud and Jannik Sinner were also up there. So that notion was soon dispelled. But as a result, it is the final that perhaps was set on paper albeit with Novak Djokovic withdrawing in Zverev's half so could've been that final realistically too. Even Ruud v Alcaraz given that the former had a stomach bug which hindered him. But overall, it is not a shock tie.
Zverev even being here though is very much escaping over the garden fence many times. He survived against Tallon Griekspoor when in reality the Dutchman's ability to close out rendered him a sitting duck as he couldn't take his opportunities. Whilst against Holger Rune too he went the distance. It has been a tougher run whether starting off against Nadal or having two gruelling five set matches and so it will either see him hit a wall or go one more time.

Head to Head - how do they stack up

Alexander Zverev leads their Head to Head narrowly 5-4 going into this crunch clash. Last win though was at Indian Wells in the favour of Alcaraz who won en route to the title. Zverev though had won the last two at the Australian Open and ATP Finals.
They have only ever played thrice on clay with Alcaraz leading 2-1 on the surface. Zverev claiming their biggest match at the Quarter-Final of Roland Garros in a 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(7). Who seals the win this time around?

Carlos Alcaraz and Alexander Zverev will face each other in the Roland Garros final. Zverev leads the head to head 5-4, but Carlos won their most recent meeting at Indian Wells this year. Zverev won their only meeting at Roland Garros in 2022. Carlos is playing in his 3rd…

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