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Carlos Alcaraz, Alexander Zverev to meet in French Open final

Carlos Alcaraz rallied past Jannik Sinner — from a set down, then two sets to one down — to reach his first French Open final.

Alcaraz, a Spaniard who already won the U.S. Open and Wimbledon, outlasted the Australian Open champion Sinner of Italy 2-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 in 4 hours, 9 minutes.

Alcaraz, 21, is the youngest man to reach a Grand Slam final on all three surfaces (hard, grass, clay) in the professional era (since 1968), according to the ATP. He supplanted Andre Agassi.

In Sunday’s final, the No. 3 seed Alcaraz plays No. 4 Alexander Zverev of Germany, who beat No. 7 Casper Ruud of Norway 2-6, 6-2, 6-4, 6-2 and eyes his first major title.

FRENCH OPEN DRAWS: Men | Women | Broadcast Schedule

Against Sinner, Alcaraz lost the first four games of the match that turned out topsy-turvy.

Sinner, who will replace Novak Djokovic as world No. 1 next week, received treatment during the match on both his right arm and his right leg. Alcaraz said afterward that he cramped during the match.

He still seized control by winning the last two games of the fourth set and the first three games of the fifth set.

“As I talked to my team many, many times,” Alcaraz said, “you have to enjoy suffering.”

Alcaraz and Sinner have become the faces of the new generation of men’s tennis as the era of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic fades.

Alcaraz and Sinner have played nine times on the ATP Tour level, with Alcaraz taking a 5-4 edge. All of their matches have either gone the maximum number of sets or included at least one tiebreak.

“The toughest matches that I’ve played in my short career have been against Jannik,” Alcaraz said.

In Sunday’s final, Alcaraz can become the youngest man to win the French Open since 2007 — when Nadal won the third of his record 14 titles.

“I have a special feeling to this tournament, because I remember when I finish school I’m running to my home just to put the TV on and watch the matches here in the French Open,” Alcaraz said. “I wanted to put my name on that list of the Spanish players who won this tournament. Not only Rafa. (Alcaraz’s coach Juan Carlos) Ferrero, (Carlos) Moya, (Albert) Costa.”

Zverev is into his first French Open final after falling in the semis the last three years.

He overcame two-time runner-up Ruud, who was limited by a stomach ache that developed toward the end of the first set.

Every man who has reached at least eight Grand Slam semifinals has won at least one Slam. Zverev is now at eight.

Zverev beat Alcaraz in their most recent major meeting (2024 Australian Open quartefinals) and their lone previous French Open meeting (2022 quarterfinals), plus won the last top-level clay-court event leading into this year’s French.

NBC and Peacock’s French Open coverage continues Saturday with the women’s final between No. 1 Iga Swiatek and No. 12 Jasmine Paolini, live at 9 a.m. ET.

The French Open is the final tournament in Paris Olympic tennis qualifying.