Alcaraz dispels the ghosts and is more than favourite: he feels he is favourite

Carlos Alcaraz durante su partido ante Sebastian Korda en Roland Garros 2024
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PARIS – Carlos Alcaraz is grinning from ear to ear after making it into the last 16 at Roland Garros and Mats Wilander asks him a question in the post-match interview.

‘Were you worried about the match with Sebastian Korda before you played him?

Alcaraz’s smile grows.

‘Not really.’

In that fleeting moment of the evening many things are summed up: tennis certainties, generational certainties, certainties for 2024.

Tennis certainty: Alcaraz played one of his best matches of the year this Friday night, a cold and rainy night.

Generational certainty: You have to be from ‘generation Z’ to answer with that cool insolence, which is basically nothing more than sincerity. No, Alcaraz was not worried about Korda, he knew that if he played well he would not lose, even though the American is a very good tennis player.

Certainty for 2024: if Alcaraz maintains this level he is a serious candidate to win the title. He himself gave the names: Jannik Sinner, Novak Djokovic and himself. That’s the trio that he sees as the issue.

And if Alcaraz takes the Roland Garros title, he will have won three of the four major tennis tournaments at the age of 21. Quite a feat.

Carlos Alcaraz hits his backhand during the match with Sebastian Korda at Roland Garros 2024 / SEBASTIÁN FEST

Alcaraz’s 6-4, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 win over Korda came with some electric tennis and a powerful, passionate finish in the tie break. A luxury for the lucky ones at the Philippe Chatrier who were able to enjoy tennis on the umpteenth rainy day of the tournament.

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The long white sleeve protecting his right arm served as a reminder that the Spaniard had physical problems, and also tennis doubts, but that white arm also served to emphasise that as of the night of the last day of May those problems and doubts no longer exist. Or at least they are not noticed.

A journalist pointed out to Alcaraz that, two years ago, he beat Korda and the next day Real Madrid won the Champions League. This Saturday, the Spanish team plays the Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund in London.

‘Well, I’ve done my job. Now it’s their turn,’ was Alcaraz’s “Alcarazian” response. “I will be supporting them tomorrow.”

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