Carlos Alcaraz delivers crash course in how to be great at French Open

Alcaraz made Felix Auger-Aliassime his latest victim at the 2024 French Open.
Carlos Alcaraz at the French Open
Carlos Alcaraz at the French Open / Clive Mason/GettyImages

There are some positives to be said about Carlos Alcaraz's fourth-round opponent at the 2024 French Open, Felix Auger-Aliassime. The Canadian is one of the nicest players on the ATP tour, and one should want nice people to do well. Auger-Aliassime also is a skilled player who is capable of being quite good. But what he does not have is the ability to be Carlos Alcaraz-type great.

Auger-Aliassime's biggest issue on Sunday was that Alcaraz played near his highest level. Had the Canadian faced the Spaniard when he was underperforming and dealing with a new forearm injury, Auger-Aliassime might have had a chance. Auger-Aliassime did not play badly in the fourth round, he just cannot compete with an in-form Alcaraz.

Plus, Alcaraz was making a number of shots that maybe only Alcaraz could. On one point, Auger-Aliassime hit a drop shot that Alcaraz raced to and flicked back over the net. The Canadian had plenty of time to try a cross-court winner and did so only to have Alcaraz stick out his racket and miraculously hit a winner. The hand skill of Alcaraz on the shot was something few players ever could match.

Carlos Alcaraz cruelly chases Felix Auger-Aliassime out of the French Open

On another point, Auger-Aliassime had Alcaraz a bit out of position and the Canadian hit a forehand down the line. Alcaraz raced over and hit the only shot he could which was a one-handed backhand that laced down the line for a clear winner. The absurdity of the shot one might say was pure luck, but tennis fans have seen Alcaraz hit too many impossible shots to win a point.

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Alcaraz finished off the match by nearly blanking Auger-Aliassime in the third set. The final was 6-3 6-3 6-1 (Alcaraz led the third set 5-0 before Auger-Aliassime finally held serve). The score was not indicative of how poorly Auger-Aliassime played but how well, and increasingly well as the match wore on, Alcaraz did. He is clearly ready to win the French Open.

The Spaniard's next test at Roland Garros is a tough one, though. He will play Stefanos Tsitsipas. Alcaraz is the better overall player, but both are very good on clay.

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