Alexander Zverev defeats Carlos Alcaraz in four sets to advance to semis

On May 8, in the Madrid final, Carlos Alcaraz had beaten Alexander Zverev (6-3, 6-1), it is true exhausted by a very late night. The German chose his moment well to take his revenge. On a boiling hot Philippe-Chatrier court, he eliminated the Spanish prodigy (19 years old) 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (7) in the quarter-finals. Already in the last four last year (beaten by Stefanos Tsitsipas), it is he who will challenge the winner of the Djokovic-Nadal clash in the half.

Alcaraz got a break point in the second game but a nice forehand attack erased it. And it was he who cracked at 2 everywhere, where he chained an unforced error and a service-volley sequence that was far too adventurous. Zverev’s serve and his remarkable ball length disturbed him. We felt nervous and unsure of his tennis. To the point of committing 16 unforced errors in 43 minutes, a very unusual total for him. Despite a few well-felt gunshots, it was Zverev who imposed his greatest consistency. The German ends the round with two backhand attacks (6-4).

Alexander Zverev serving. (N. Luttiau/The Team)

The Zverev metronome

The second set was almost a carbon copy of the first. At 2-1, Alcaraz got the first opportunity to break there but a completely redacted return canceled it. At 3-3, two new errors and a superb counter-amortization from Zverev put him against the wall, at 15-40. A bad serve-volley sequence cost him his serve.

Very stable, Zverev firmly held the reins of the game. The Spaniard got an opportunity to break at 5-4 but he committed yet another backhand foul. Clearly stressed, annoyed by his own approximations, he rushed too much and multiplied the blunders (16 unforced errors, exactly as in the first act). Solidly backed by his service (80% of first serves in the second set!), Zverev took the opportunity to break away 6-4, 6-4, after 1h29.


Alexander Zverev won against Carlos Alcaraz, this Tuesday, his first victory against a Top 10 in a Grand Slam tournament

A fantastic fourth round

More undecided, the third set was decided on the last two games. At 4-4, 30-40, Alcaraz dismissed an almost match point by slipping a formidable drop shot. A tactic he repeated throughout the last game. Despite his desperate forward runs, Zverev couldn’t manage to lift a ball that crashed just behind the net.

The culmination of an extraordinarily intense match, the fourth set rose in volume to a hair-raising tie-break. We thought the German was stunned by the loss of his service when he had served at 5-4. But his determination and commitment to the strikes ultimately made the difference. At 6-5, Alcaraz wasted a set point with a backhand fault. At 8-7, Zverev unleashed a formidable backhand winning return to put an end to this 3:18 tussle.

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