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Carlos Alcaraz calls the French Open triumph the proudest moment of his career

Carlos Alcaraz said his maiden triumph at the French Open on Sunday was the proudest moment of his career after the Spaniard became the youngest man to win Grand Slam titles on all three surfaces of the sport following his victories at the US Open in 2022 and Wimbledon last year.

The 21-year-old defeated German Alexander Zverev 6-3, 2-6, 5-7, 6-1, 6-2 at Roland Garros to join an elite club that includes tennis greats Mats Wilander, Jimmy Connors, Andre Agassi, Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

After arriving in Paris with barely any games under his belt due to a right forearm injury, Alcaraz said his latest performance was all the more special.

“Winning the US Open, reaching No. 1 for the first time, was obviously something I’ve dreamed of since I started playing tennis and getting my first Grand Slam, so it was pretty special,” Alcaraz said.

“The way I won Wimbledon (in 2023), by beating Djokovic in five sets, was a great achievement for me. Right now, I have lifted the Roland Garros trophy, knowing everything I know last month with the injuries and all, I don’t know.

“This is probably the moment I am really proud of, because of everything I have done in the past month to be ready with my team for this tournament.”

Alcaraz withdrew from Monte Carlo and the Barcelona Open due to the injury, and although he tried to retain his title in Madrid by going out in the quarterfinals, he also skipped the Italian Open.

“I consider myself a player who doesn’t need too many games to play 100%,” he said. “I had a very good week here in Paris, practicing with good players.

“I felt really good playing sets, moving and hitting before the tournament started. Obviously, I was getting better every match I played.”

Alcaraz said he would celebrate his latest triumph by getting a tattoo of the Eiffel Tower with Sunday’s date. He also got inked after his previous Grand Slam successes.

“I have to find the time,” Alcaraz said. ‘But I’m definitely going to do it. It will be on the left ankle.

“Wimbledon was the right one. Here it will be the left one, I think with the Eiffel Tower, with the date.”

Although Alcaraz is already making history, he still has a long way to go to equal Nadal’s record of 14 French Open titles or Djokovic’s record of 24 Grand Slam victories among men.

“Both things are extraordinary,” he admitted.

“You have to be an alien to get it. What Rafa did with 14 is practically impossible.

“The 24 Grand Slams, I hope I can do it, but it’s almost impossible. Both things are extraordinary.”

On a sun-drenched court Philippe Chatrier, Alcaraz hit a forehand winner down the line to take the early break, with Zverev later making it 1-1.

Alcaraz broke to love and then held on to take a 4-2 lead before Zverev staved off a break point. However, the Spaniard was a lot better and took the set on his opponent’s serve with a forehand winner.

Alcaraz needed more than 10 minutes to win the first game of the second set after six deuces.

The 21-year-old’s unforced error rate spiked and Zverev broke 3-2 and, after putting his frustration behind him, won three games in a row to level the match.

Alcaraz broke in the third set but remained inconsistent, and while serving for the set the Spaniard made another series of errors that allowed Zverev to get back into the match.

The German took the opportunity to break twice, took a 6-5 lead and served to take the lead.

Alcaraz took the early advantage in the fourth set, breaking a 2-0 lead with a striking passing shot and then a 4-0 lead with a stunning drop shot.

However, his level dropped again, allowing Zverev to take a break before Alcaraz called the trainer to have his left thigh massaged.

The Spaniard still managed to wrap up the set and force a decider and a woeful third game from Zverev gave him the early break. Alcaraz then raised his level significantly to save four break points in the next game and increase his lead to 3-1.

He broke again before serving out and capturing the title on his first match point.

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