Clinical Carlos Alcaraz silences critics, beats Jannik Sinner to reach Roland Garros final

Friday, 07 June 2024 at 18:49
It was the most awaited match for the whole tennis world. Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner were facing each other in the semifinals of Roland Garros. And it did not disappoint. Despite living a life in the first part of the duel full of tension and nerves, both sides finally went to five sets and took the Spanish by 2-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 and 6-3.
The clash began as a monologue of the Italian. He managed to break Alcaraz's serve after a very tight first game, but from then on, he started to overwhelm. He was 4-0 up, with a stratospheric level with his serve, against a nervous Alcaraz, out of rhythm and lack of ideas. However, he suddenly started to play better and, after winning his first game, he broke Sinner's serve to take a 4-2 lead.
But the joy was to be short-lived. He was better, 40-15 in his favor, but several errors condemned him and Sinner did not waste it to get back to two breaks ahead. It seemed that the last game of the set was going to be quiet for the new world number 1 from next Monday but he wasted two balls of the first set with clamorous errors. On the other hand, he didn't give up and in the third opportunity he had, he gave Alcaraz a 6-2 lead.
The second set started the same as the first, with a break for Sinner and his service game won to continue to stifle the Spaniard. Although in the third game, Alcaraz made the first attempt at a tactical change in the match, he went to the net several times after serving, something that worked out well as he prevented Sinner from repeating what he had done in the first set by winning four games in a row.
That moment seemed to unlock something in Alcaraz, who won three games in a row and led for the first time in a set during the match, helped by a slight dip in Sinner's performance, but also thanks to him putting on one more speed. In a scenario very similar to the first set but with the roles completely reversed, Sinner tensed up and made more errors than is usual for him.
Another classy battle between Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner.
Another classy battle between Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner.
Like the Italian a few minutes earlier, the player from Murcia did not miss the opportunity and took a 5-2 lead, making it five games in a row won by him. Sinner did not want to give up and forced Alcaraz to serve if he wanted to equalize the match. But the world number 3 and two-time Grand Slam champion did not tremble and put the score at 1-1. A new match to the best of three sets started from that moment on.
From the start of the third set, Sinner remained surprisingly very unsuccessful, which Alcaraz did not hesitate to take advantage of and broke his serve to take a 2-1 lead. However, after a horrible game, the Italian equalized the score and was ready to serve. At that point the cramps started for Sinner.
In a stretch when Alcaraz had everything to break him on serve and make the difference, he seemed to take pity and gave away too many points. A cramped and half-injured Jannik Sinner still had his way and went 3-2 up. Although the hardest part was yet to come with those physical problems.
Awesome Alcaraz with a landmark win at the French Open.
Awesome Alcaraz with a landmark win at the French Open.
But not only was he saved from what could have been a 2 sets to 1 disadvantage with discomfort, but on top of that Alcaraz incomprehensibly gave him three games in a row, so now it was Sinner who found himself with a 5-2 lead in a set absolutely impossible to predict and in which everything as unexpected as possible was happening.
Once again, in a scenario very similar to the second set but again with the roles reversed, Alcaraz forced Sinner to serve to take the third set, and so did the Italian, taking advantage of the first chance he had to put the 6-3 on the scoreboard. Carlitos didn't take advantage of Sinner's void and the still number 2 of the world, as the great champions do, didn't forgive and made him pay for it.
The fourth set went from less to more, in intensity and level of play. Carlos Alcaraz was exchanging blunders with improbable spikes, while Jannik Sinner was again himself and was much more consistent and regular. Both were solid with their serves until, with 5-4 and 30-15 on the scoreboard, Sinner committed a clamorous error sending a dunk to the doubles corridor and Alcaraz completely turned the tables to break his serve and send the match to a fifth and final set, which was expected to be full of excitement, tension and nerves.
The end of the fourth set seemed to be a before and after in the development of the match. Alcaraz came completely up, regained all his confidence and started the fifth showing that he was ahead physically and mentally, with a break in the first game of Jannik Sinner's serve. At 3-1, the Italian had the occasional chance to close the gap but Alcaraz was solid and managed to pull out the tricky moment.
Carlitos managed to keep his advantage until 5-2, and as in the second set, Sinner forced the Spaniard to serve if he wanted to win the set, the big difference was that this time it was to take the match and qualify for nothing more and nothing less than the final of Roland Garros. But the Spaniard was able to withstand the pressure and his opponent, and won 6-3 to take a match for history.
Alexander Zverev, with whom he has a record of 4-5 against, could be waiting for him in the final, having lost in the quarterfinals precisely at Roland Garros, in 2022, and in the same round at this year's Australian Open. However, the last time they faced each other, in the quarterfinals at Indian Wells, Alcaraz completely overpowered him.
The alternative would be Casper Ruud, whom he has already beaten once in a Grand Slam final, at the 2022 US Open, and against whom he has never lost in the four times they have met. It would be the third Roland Garros final for the Norwegian, three in a row, after losing the 2022 final against Rafael Nadal and the 2023 final against Novak Djokovic.

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