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Qui gagnera Roland Garros en 2024 ? La résurrection de Stefanos Tsitsipas

Carlos Alcaraz defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas (6/3 6/4) in the Barcelona Open on Sunday, April 23.

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The young prodigy has lived up to the expectations placed upon him. After a start of the season slowed down by injuries, Carlos Alcaraz didn’t take long to stun the tennis world. He won the Buenos Aires open as soon as he came back. Before arriving in Barcelona, he won a third master 1000 title in Indian Wells. Despite his final at the Australian Open, Stefanos Tsitsipas started the match as the underdog.

Carlos Alcaraz chose to serve. He set the tone in the first rally concluded with a forehand winner. It was a love game. Stefanos Tsitsipas fought back with a high serve quality: 1/1. After a smash that landed far behind the court, Carlos Alcaraz was in trouble on his serve. An unforced error in the net gave the break to the Greek. He led 2/1, serve to follow. After a long game, made of backhand duels, Stefanos Tsitsipas gave out two beak points. A double fault allowed his opponent to match the score. The latter multiplied drop shots, untouchables by the fourth player of the world – who stood far behind his baseline. The Spanish led 3/2. Stefanos Tsitsipas didn’t hesitate to rise to the net to conclude his forehand strikes: 3/3. The Greek’s deep returns weren’t frequent enough to worry Carlos Alcaraz, who kept the lead: 4/3. The latter’s topspin forehands got the better of Stefanos Tsitsipas’ one handed backhand. Even if he saved a first break point, the second one was won by Carlos Alcaraz – who came to the net. He served for the set: 6/3.

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During the first set, the two opponents seemed to play at the same level. Nevertheless, the former world number one rose his level at the best possible moment. After his early break, Stefanos Tsitsipas had no opportunity to win his opponent’s serve. The latter multiplied drop shots that let the Greek powerless. Stefanos Tsitsipas’ dazzling forehands, so efficient most of the time, were neutralized by the defensive abilities of Carlos Alcaraz.

Stefanos Tsitsipas didn’t seem discourage by the loss of the first set. He won a love game thanks to two astonishing rises to the net. Carlos Alcaraz fought back with an authoritarian game concluded by an ace. Then, an entertaining game, made of points at the net, happened. Both players showed their speed and their impressive reflexes. Stefanos Tsitsipas remained ahead: 2/1. The latter’s bad returns helped his opponent: 2/2. A perfect lob followed by a new deadly drop shot gave two break points to Carlos Alcaraz. A wood backhand allowed the latter to take the lead: 3/2. The young Spanish multiplied winners. Stefanos Tsitsipas hung on, out of solutions: 4/3. While Juan Carlos Ferrero’s student refused to let go of his baseline, he forced his opponent to step back. The Greek won a love game; forcing his rival to serve for the championship. Carlos Alcaraz, pressure-proof, got three match points. A forehand winner allowed him to defend his title.

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The second set confirmed the previous one. Confident, Carlos Alcaraz let no chance to his opponent. He used his smart analyze of the game. As soon as the Greek was behind, his was immediately punished by a drop shot. Stefanos Tsitsipas didn’t freed his shots enough. He lacked time when topspin shots arrived on his backhand side and his forehand strikes lacked explosiveness.

Barcelona Open final : watch the highlights

The fourth encounter between the two men ended up as the previous ones. Stefanos Tsitsipas still hasn’t find the solution to worry his rival. He is used to win his points thanks to his dazzling forehands and his agility at the net; but Carlos Alcaraz isn’t too bad himself in those areas. Besides his ball touch, his forehand consistency and his explosiveness aren’t somethings he can be ashamed of. This young player is already so complete.

The absence of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic’s physical problems are a great opportunity for Carlos Alcaraz for the end of the clay court season. Defending his title in Madrid and winning the master in Rome, would enable him to get the number one spot of the rankings back.

Marnie Abbou

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