Tennis-Alcaraz says Paris triumph proudest moment, plans Eiffel Tower tattoo

  • Tennis
  • Monday, 10 Jun 2024

Tennis - French Open - Roland Garros, Paris, France - June 9, 2024 Spain's Carlos Alcaraz with ball kids celebrate with the trophy after winning the men's singles final against Germany's Alexander Zverev REUTERS/Yves Herman

PARIS (Reuters) - Carlos Alcaraz said his maiden French Open triumph on Sunday was the proudest moment of his glittering career, after the Spaniard became the youngest man to win Grand Slams on all three of the sport's surfaces following his Wimbledon and U.S. Open titles.

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

But having arrived in Paris with barely any matches under his belt due to a right forearm injury, Alcaraz said his latest achievement was all the more special.

"Obviously winning the U.S. Open (in 2022) when I reached for the first time the number one, something that I dreamt about since I started playing tennis, getting my first Grand Slam. So it was pretty special," Alcaraz said.

"The way I won Wimbledon (in 2023), beating Djokovic in five sets has been a great achievement for me. Right now, lifting the Roland Garros trophy, knowing everything I've been through the last month with the injuries and all, I don't know.

"Probably this is the moment I'm really proud about, because of everything I've done the last month just to be ready for this tournament with my team, a lot of talks with them. If I have to practise, if I can't practise or discuss with them.

"It has been really difficult for me, honestly."

Alcaraz had withdrawn from Monte Carlo and the Barcelona Open due to the injury and although he attempted to retain his title in Madrid, going out in the quarter-finals, he also skipped the Italian Open.

"I consider myself a player who doesn't need too many matches just to get to 100%. I had a really good week here in Paris, practising with good players," Alcaraz said.

"I felt really well playing sets, moving, hitting my shots before the tournament began. Obviously, every match that I have played, I was getting better and better."

Alcaraz said he would mark his latest triumph by getting a tattoo of the Eiffel Tower with Sunday's date, having gotten inked after his previous major successes.

"I have to find the time. But I'll do it for sure. It's going to be on the left ankle," Alcaraz said.

"Wimbledon was the right one. Here it's going to be the left one, I think with the Eiffel Tower, with the date."

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Paris; Editing by Toby Davis)

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