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Tennis Glory in Paris: The Story of the 2024 French Open Winners



French Open Winners

Men’s single

Carlos Alcaraz made history as the youngest man ever to claim Grand Slam titles on all three court surfaces by defeating Alexander Zverev in a gripping five-set match to clinch the French Open crown on Sunday.

The intense battle lasted 4 hours and 19 minutes, with Alcaraz emerging victorious with a score of 6-3, 2-6, 5-7, 6-1, 6-2. This victory adds to his previous triumphs at the 2022 US Open and last year’s Wimbledon.

What This Win Means

Reflecting on his achievement, Alcaraz expressed the significance of winning his first title at Roland Garros, especially considering the rich history of Spanish players at the tournament. He described it as a dream come true, cherished since his early years in tennis.

Alcaraz now joins the elite company of players who have won Grand Slam events on all surfaces, including legends like Jimmy Connors, Mats Wilander, Andre Agassi, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic. Notably, he accomplishes this milestone at the age of 21, surpassing Nadal’s previous record.

The French Open victory holds particular meaning for Alcaraz, considering the challenges he faced with injuries leading up to the tournament. He expressed pride in overcoming obstacles and preparing diligently with his team.

Acknowledging the significance of his achievement, Alcaraz received congratulations from Nadal, who himself has dominated Roland Garros with 14 singles titles.

On the other side, Zverev, despite putting up a fierce fight, suffered his second Grand Slam final defeat in five sets. Nonetheless, he recognized Alcaraz’s exceptional performance and accepted the outcome gracefully.

Alcaraz’s journey to the title was marked by resilience and determination, particularly as he battled through five-set matches in both the semifinal and final rounds, a rare feat in the modern era of tennis.

Despite his limited clay court preparation due to injury concerns, Alcaraz showcased remarkable form throughout the tournament, defeating formidable opponents on his path to victory.

As he basks in the glory of his third Grand Slam triumph, Alcaraz looks ahead with determination, aiming to etch more dates on his journey of success and possibly aiming for a career total of 24 Grand Slam titles.

What’s Next for Carlos?

Alcaraz now shifts his focus to Wimbledon, where he aims to defend his title won in a thrilling match against Novak Djokovic last year. Following Wimbledon, he will compete in the Olympics in Paris, marking a return to Roland Garros.

At the Olympics, Alcaraz hopes to play doubles with Nadal—potentially one of the 22-time Grand Slam champion’s final tournaments—and will also strive for a gold medal in the singles competition.

“I’ve won Roland Garros and now I’m going for the Olympics,” Alcaraz said. “I’m going to try to get both.”

Men’s Doubles

Marcelo Arevalo of El Salvador and Mate Pavic of Croatia triumphed in the French Open men’s doubles final on Saturday, defeating Italians Simone Bolelli and Andrea Vavassori with a score of 7-5, 6-3.

Pavic, having now won all four Grand Slam titles in men’s doubles, celebrated with his team on Court Philippe Chatrier. “First (title) for me here, so I’m very happy,” Pavic said. “It feels special. I lost here twice in the final.”

Emotional Winners

Arevalo, holding a scarf with his country’s name, raised it and chanted “Salvador, Salvador.” This victory marked his second men’s doubles title, following his 2022 win at Roland Garros with Jean-Julien Rojer. “I want to thank Mate for trusting me and believing in me, to fight together. We did it together, man,” an emotional Arevalo said. “My second title here also feels special.”

In a tense moment with Arevalo serving for the match at 40-30, Pavic missed a seemingly straightforward volley, the ball clipping the net and falling on the wrong side. Pavic covered his mouth in disbelief. However, he redeemed himself moments later by saving a break point with a challenging smash down the middle. The pair secured victory on their second match point when Vavassori hit a forehand wide, and the ninth-seeded champions fell to the red clay in celebration.

The 38-year-old Bolelli, a former singles player who peaked at a ranking of No. 36 but did not win a singles title, previously won the Australian Open men’s doubles in 2015 with Fabio Fognini and has reached the semifinals in doubles at every Grand Slam. Vavassori, who has lost both major finals he has contested in men’s doubles, was seeded 11th with Bolelli.

Women’s Doubles

Coco Gauff claimed the French Open women’s doubles title with partner Katerina Siniakova on Sunday, defeating the Italian duo Jasmine Paolini and Sara Errani 7-6(5), 6-3.

Gauff and Siniakova defeated Italy’s Sara Errani and Jasmine Paolini 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 in just under two hours on Court Philippe-Chatrier, earning Gauff her first Grand Slam doubles trophy. 

Multiple Titles

Siniakova, who now boasts eight major doubles titles—three of which are from the French Open—teamed up with Gauff at the start of the tournament following the withdrawal of Gauff’s usual partner, Jessica Pegula, due to injury.

Throughout the match, Gauff and Siniakova consistently targeted Errani’s serve, while the Italians reciprocated by attacking Siniakova’s serve, resulting in multiple breaks and leading to a tiebreak. Gauff and Siniakova narrowly won the tiebreak and then secured a crucial, extended game on Gauff’s serve at the start of the second set, which deflated the Italian team and allowed the Czech-American pair to maintain their lead until the end.

“Thank you, Katerina, for playing with me. We decided to do it two days before the tournament started,” said Gauff, who had previously lost two major doubles finals.

Read more: Will We See Another Showdown Between the Two Legends at Roland-Garros?

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Wimbledon Champions: Alcaraz Defends Title, Krejcikova Stuns in Women’s Final



Wimbledon tennis matches

Alcaraz vs Djokovic 

Last year, Carlos Alcaraz dethroned Novak Djokovic to win his first Wimbledon title. In a rematch of that epic five-setter, Alcaraz ascended to the throne on Sunday, defeating Djokovic 6-2, 6-2, 7-6(4) to secure his second consecutive Wimbledon title. This marks only the fifth time in Djokovic’s career that he has lost a final in straight sets.

From the start and throughout the first two and a half sets, Djokovic struggled. He appeared flat and tight, not resembling his usual self. In contrast, Alcaraz, typically a slow starter, came out roaring, quickly putting Djokovic in a 2-0 hole before many fans had even settled in. No one expected the legendary player to begin so quietly or to look so overmatched so quickly.

Every point seemed like an opportunity for Djokovic to awaken and realize he was in the Wimbledon final, but each time, fans were disappointed. If there was any improvement in his game, it was not visible to the naked eye. Alcaraz showed no mercy, capitalizing on Djokovic’s errors and playing with confidence.

Djokovic dropped the first set 6-2, and the second set followed a similar pattern. Without a significant turnaround, his chances looked bleak. In the third set, Djokovic finally showed signs of life, winning the first game and forcing Alcaraz to keep up. However, the awakening came too late. Alcaraz matched Djokovic’s efforts, with the 37-year-old Serbian attempting to become the oldest man to win Wimbledon.

Although Djokovic forced a tiebreak, he couldn’t extend the match. He appeared frustrated and tired, with his shots not landing as they typically do. Even at the start of the tiebreak, it felt like a matter of time before Alcaraz clinched the victory. 

Dwindling Djokovic and Surging Alcaraz

Over the past few years, Djokovic’s main opponent has been Father Time, battling against his own tennis mortality. Despite a torn meniscus at the French Open, which hadn’t seemed to affect him during the tournament, Sunday’s match presented an opponent he couldn’t overcome. Alcaraz was too quick, strong, and fast. Even if Djokovic had forced a fourth set, it didn’t seem he had the stamina to turn the match in his favor. Alcaraz, 16 years younger, had the energy to continue playing at a high level.

This victory marks the fourth Grand Slam title of Alcaraz’s young career, with half of those wins on grass, despite Wimbledon 2024 being just his sixth grass court tournament. 

In the future, we might look back on this match as the moment one era ended and another began, with Alcaraz defeating one of the greatest tennis players in history for the second straight year and starting his reign. For now, questions linger about Djokovic’s performance—whether he was injured and how this might impact his appearance at the Olympics.

There is no question about Carlos Alcaraz, though. He is the future of tennis, and the future is here.

Krejcikova vs Paolini

After winning her second major singles title in a roller-coaster match on Saturday, Barbora Krejcikova celebrated by throwing her hands up in the air and pointing to the sky.

After nearly two hours and needing three match points, she defeated crowd favorite and No. 7 seed Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 to claim her first Wimbledon title. Former champions such as Billie Jean King, Martina Navratilova, and Maria Sharapova watched from the royal box.

Krejcikova became the eighth woman to win the Wimbledon title since 2016. “I don’t have any words right now,” Krejcikova told the crowd during the trophy presentation. “It’s definitely the best day of my tennis career and also the best day of my life.”

The 28-year-old from Czech Republic had previously won the 2021 French Open title, along with 11 major titles in doubles and mixed doubles. However, she hadn’t advanced past the quarterfinals in singles at a Grand Slam since her triumph in Paris over three years ago. After a tough season that included a back injury, illness, and an 0-4 record on clay, Krejcikova was hardly considered a favorite to win at the All England Club. She had never advanced past the fourth round before, and her ranking had fallen to No. 32. 

Krejcikova appeared to get stronger with each match in the tournament. She defeated No. 11 seed Danielle Collins and No. 13 seed Jelena Ostapenko in straight sets in the round of 16 and quarterfinals, respectively. In the semifinals, she rebounded after losing the first set to overcome Elena Rybakina, the 2022 Wimbledon champion, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Read more: Wimbledon 2024: Injury Drama and Musetti’s Comeback

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Wimbledon 2024: Injury Drama and Musetti’s Comeback



Djokovic vs De Minaur

Novak Djokovic advanced to the Wimbledon semifinals without playing his quarterfinal match as his opponent, Alex De Minaur, withdrew due to a torn hip cartilage sustained in his previous match against Arthur Fils on Monday.

“I felt a loud crack and a scan confirmed the injury,” De Minaur said. “There’s a high risk of making it worse.”

“It’s obviously not the announcement I wanted to make by any means,” De Minaur said. “Yeah, I’m devastated, but I had to withdraw due to a hip injury. I felt a loud crack during the last three points of my match against Fils and got the confirmation from the scan yesterday.”

At 37 and recovering from meniscus surgery, Djokovic now enjoys three full days of rest before his semifinal match on Friday against the winner of No. 13 Taylor Fritz and No. 25 Lorenzo Musetti.

Djokovic’s return to Wimbledon has been highly anticipated, especially after his criticism of the Centre Court crowd in his previous match. He expressed frustration at what he perceived as disrespectful behavior during his victory over Holger Rune, a sentiment supported by tennis legend John McEnroe.

Djokovic aims for his 25th Grand Slam title and an eighth Wimbledon crown, coming off a controversial incident in his fourth-round win over Holger Rune, where he criticized spectators for apparent disrespect.

Musetti vs Fritz

Lorenzo Musetti battled past Taylor Fritz in a five-set thriller to secure his spot in the Wimbledon quarterfinals.

The Italian initially struggled as Fritz dominated early, winning four of the first five games and taking the first set comfortably at 6-3. However, Musetti found his rhythm in the second set, overcoming Fritz’s challenge in a tense tiebreak to level the match.

Building on his momentum, Musetti continued to press forward in the third set, securing an early lead and maintaining control to claim the set 6-2 and go up 2-1 in sets. Fritz, visibly frustrated, made tactical changes including a wardrobe switch during the break before the fourth set.

The adjustment seemed to work initially for Fritz as he clinched the fourth set 6-3, setting up a dramatic fifth and final set. Musetti, however, surged ahead early in the decider, winning five consecutive games. Despite a brief injury scare for Fritz, Musetti maintained his composure to close out the match 6-1 in the fifth set.

With this hard-fought victory, Musetti advances to the semifinals at Wimbledon for the first time in his career. The 22-year-old will now face Novak Djokovic, who progressed after Alex de Minaur withdrew due to injury.

Vekic vs Paolni

Donna Vekic’s winning streak began with a runner-up finish at WTA Bad Homburg, narrowly losing in three sets to Shnaider. At Wimbledon, she rebounded from a set down against Wang Yi in the first round and defeated Andreeva in straight sets in the second round. Vekic overcame Yastremska in three sets in the third round, dominating the deciding set 6-1 after two tight tiebreaks. Her first Wimbledon quarterfinal came after a hard-fought victory over Badosa in three sets. Despite losing the first set against Lulu Sun in the quarters, Vekic rallied to win the next two sets decisively, marking a contrast with her third-round exit last year against Vondrousova at Wimbledon..

Jasmine Paolini’s strong form continued at Wimbledon with five straight wins as well. After reaching the Eastbourne semifinals, where she narrowly lost to Kasatkina, she cruised through the early rounds at Wimbledon in straight sets. Paolini overcame tough opponents like Sorribes Tormo and Andreescu in close sets before rallying from a 2-5 deficit in the deciding set against Keys, who retired tied at 5-5 due to injury. She dominated Navarro in the quarterfinals with a commanding 6-2, 6-1 win, contrasting sharply with her early exit last year against Kvitova, highlighting her breakthrough on grass courts this year.

Vekic enters this matchup as the underdog against Paolini, who is currently in excellent form and therefore favored to win. Despite this, Vekic holds an advantage as a grass court player compared to Paolini. With a formidable serve and powerful forehand, Vekic is expected to keep the match competitive and potentially tilt the odds in her favor.

What’s Next?

On Tuesday, Jannik Sinner disclosed that he battled dizziness throughout his Wimbledon quarter-final match against Daniil Medvedev, which ended in a five-set defeat.

The world No. 1, visibly unwell from the outset, took a break at the start of the third set, lasting over 10 minutes. A doctor assessed his condition, checking his pulse and blood pressure, before Sinner returned to the court and continued to compete fiercely, eventually forcing a fifth set. However, Medvedev emerged victorious after a grueling four-hour match.

Medvedev will face Carlos Alcaraz this Friday alongside the other semi-final match.

In the women’s semi-finals, 2022 champion Elena Rybakina will play Barbora Krejcikova after defeating Elina Svitolina in straight sets on Centre Court. Rybakina of Kazakhstan displayed dominance over Svitolina in a swift 6-3, 6-2 victory that concluded in just 62 minutes. This win propels her into the semi-finals, marking her first appearance in this stage since her championship victory in 2022.

Read more: Tennis Glory in Paris: The Story of the 2024 French Open Winners

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American Woes at the French Open Continue



American Men’s French Open

The last time an American won the men’s French Open singles title was all the way back in 1999, when Andre Agassi emerged victorious at Roland-Garros. Since 1955, only three American men have won the French Open – Michael Chang, Jim Courier, and Andre Agassi. 

Going into the 2024 French Open, there was optimism surrounding Ben Shelton and Taylor Fritz. Both were long shots to lift the trophy. However, the two young Americans were in form and, on their day, capable of beating anyone in the world. 

Ben Shelton Falls to Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime

Ben Shelton is far from a clay court specialist and, thanks to his booming first serve, is far more at home on hard courts. However, prior to the French Open, the 21-year-old picked up his first title on clay at the ATP Houston, beating fellow American Francis Tiafoe in a back-and-forth battle.

Even though he struggled to make an impact at the Madrid Open and Italian Open, some fans thought he’d be a dark horse at Roland-Garros. At 21, he shows so much potential. He’s an incredible athlete, and his first serve, which clocks in at 149 mph, wins him lots of easy points.

In the early rounds of the French Open, Shelton looked on track to make a deep run. He beat the local clay court maestro Hugo Gaston in four sets before dominating Kei Nishikori in the second round.

In the third round, Shelton found himself face to face with another wunderkind, Felix Auger-Aliassime. The Canadian already has five singles titles and over $12 million in prize money compared to Shelton’s $3.5 million.

Despite the match being fairly even on paper, Auger-Aliassime breezed past Shelton, winning in straight sets. Despite landing 69% of his first serves, Shelton was only able to win 54% of first serve points, while Auger-Aliassime won an incredible 86% of his first serve points. It just goes to show you how the clay surface can really neutralize a fast serve.

Taylor Fritz Is Outclassed by Casper Ruud

With Shelton out of the French Open, the hopes and dreams of America rested on the shoulders of Taylor Fritz. At 26 years old, Fritz is in his prime, however, despite showing so much promise when he first burst onto the tour, he’s failed to take that next step, never making it past the quarterfinals at a Major.

Fritz, while not particularly comfortable on clay, he did show some improvement in 2024. In the lead-up to the French Open, he made it to the final of the Bavarian International.

Fritz came into the French Open as the 12th seed and defeated Federico Coria and Dušan Lajović in the first and second rounds. Things started to unravel for the American in the 3rd round when he found himself in an epic slugfest with Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis.

Fritz won the first two steps, only for the Aussie to come roaring back and take the next two. The American kept his composure, taking the decisive fifth set 6-3. 

After such a taxing performance, it’s no surprise that he struggled against Casper Ruud in the fourth round. The Norwegian was too strong. Fritz struggled with the depth and spin Ruud was able to generate. The Norwegian is definitely one to watch as the French Open unfolds.

Why Do Americans Underperform on Clay?

For years, pundits and coaches have been trying to diagnose Americans’ issues on clay courts. It seems to boil down to the fact that clay courts are still uncommon in America, with most players spending 90%+ of their training on hard courts.

Americans’ strategy is all about a big serve and ending the point quickly by hitting a forehand winner. These tactics are far less successful on the much slower clay surface where aces are rare and slicing and drop shots become much more important.

Interestingly, it’s only American men who struggle on clay. American female players have adapted to the surface. Serena Williams won the French Open, while Sloane Stephens and Coco Gauff have both made the final. 

Unfortunately, it looks like it’ll be a long time until an American male player wins the French Open. American men haven’t won any Grand Slam since 2003. If they aren’t winning the US and Australian Open, designed for their game, they definitely aren’t winning the French Open!

Read more: Is That the Last Time We’ll See Nadal at the French Open?

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