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SportsAlcaraz beats Sinner to reach Paris final against Zverev

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Alcaraz beats Sinner to reach Paris final against Zverev

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Carlos Alcaraz advanced closer to his first French Open title with a thrilling victory over Jannik Sinner in a captivating semi-final match.

The Spanish third seed displayed remarkable resilience, twice overcoming deficits to secure a 2-6 6-3 3-6 6-4 6-3 triumph.

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Alcaraz faced a tense moment when he missed two match points, first hitting the net after a baseline exchange and then sending a forehand long. However, he capitalized on his third opportunity to seal the victory.

In the upcoming men’s final on Sunday, Alcaraz will square off against German fourth seed Alexander Zverev.

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Sinner, the Italian second seed, battled cramps in the third set as he aimed for consecutive major titles following his Australian Open triumph in January. Despite his efforts, Alcaraz’s determination and stamina prevailed as he grew stronger as the match progressed.

“You have to find the joy in suffering, that’s the key,” Alcaraz said.

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“Even more here on clay – long rallies, four-hour matches, five sets, you have to fight. But you have to enjoy suffering.”

The 21-year-old is now just one win away from completing three legs of a career Grand Slam, having already triumphed at the 2022 US Open and last year’s Wimbledon.

In the second semi-final later on Friday, 27-year-old Alexander Zverev won 2-6 6-2 6-4 6-2 against Norwegian seventh seed Casper Ruud.

Zverev played just hours after a trial in Berlin over domestic abuse allegations made by his former girlfriend was discontinued.

The emerging rivalry between Sinner and Alcaraz is one that many in tennis believe can fill the void left by the ageing superstars.

Few will forget their epic US Open quarter-final in 2022, which finished at 2:50 am in New York and featured some jaw-dropping exchanges.

This was a different type of contest. Neither player found their best level consistently – and rarely at the same time.

But the match developed into an absorbing encounter where, at times, each man relied on heart as much as their head.

Sinner, 22, made what could be considered a perfect start, taking Alcaraz’s serve with the two break points he created and twice holding to love for a 4-0 lead.

By defending robustly and returning with depth, Sinner forced a flurry of mistakes from Alcaraz’s forehand and continued to bewilder his opponent at the start of the second set.

Another early break put Sinner ahead – but the dynamic swiftly changed.

Alcaraz, finding better angles and more precision with Sinner not hitting as deep, broke twice to turn a 2-0 deficit into a 5-2 lead and level the match.

After trading breaks at the start of the third set, Alcaraz could not take four more chances at 2-2 when Sinner struggled with cramp in his playing arm.

Having received treatment, Sinner recovered to break in the next game before he required further attention – this time on his legs – from the physio.

Sinner served out to move back in front. However, a wild overhead at 30-15 4-5 in the fourth set, pushing it wide with Alcaraz stranded, proved costly.

Last year, Alcaraz suffered from full body cramps in his maiden Roland Garros semi-final, blaming it afterwards on the tension of facing the incomparable Novak Djokovic.

This time, he looked more relaxed as the match wore on and ultimately raced ahead to clinch the decider.

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