Carlos Alcaraz goes ruthlessly efficient against Stefanos Tsitsipas at French Open

Alcaraz defeated Tsitsipas in the quarterfinals of the French Open. Here is what happened.
Carlos Alcaraz at the French Open
Carlos Alcaraz at the French Open / Clive Mason/GettyImages

Carlos Alcaraz is probably in Stefanos Tsitsipas' head. The Greek had never beaten the Spaniard in five tries heading into the quarterfinals at the French Open. Tsitsipas is a fantastic player and a very good clay-court player, but he just could not seem to defeat Alcaraz on any surface. He failed to do so again at the French Open.

Tsitsipas did not play badly either. Against the vast majority of players, he probably would have won. The issue in the quarters, however, was that he played an Alcaraz in peak form, the kind of form that might be the best in men's tennis currently. Alcaraz might not be No. 1 after the French Open, but the way he played against Tsitsipas is the kind of form he needs to beat anyone.

The fact that the Greek kept the match close almost feels like a victory. The Spaniard won 6-3 7-6(3) 6-4, but even as well as Tistsipas was playing, he seemed to have no chance to actually win. Alcaraz was a mix of brilliance, from landing his first serve as much as 80 percent for most of the match to using a series of drop-shots and reacting to drop-shots in a way that few who have ever picked up a racket could match.

Carlos Alcaraz defeats Stefanos Tsitsipas at the French Open

The Spaniard also did not need to be overly bombastic, a tendency he falls into far too often. Many tennis commentators have said if Alcaraz can just keep his showmanship under control, he might be able to win at a more consistently high level. His game plan entering the match must have been to not beat himself and let his elite game do the work.

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And it worked to perfection. There was little Tsitsipas could do. The victory means Alcaraz will next face Jannik Sinner in the semifinals. Sinner will move to ATP No. 1 after the French Open as Novak Djokovic, who held the top ranking, had to withdraw. Alcaraz has a chance of moving to No. 2 should he win the French Open.

Sinner versus Alcaraz is going to be must-watch tennis. Not just at Roland Garros but for the next decade. The semifinal at the French Open is only going to be another step in the next great rivalry in the sport.

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