Carlos Alcaraz wore his heart on his sleeve with his maiden French Open win

Alcaraz, 21, is one Grand Slam shy of the career slam, but his Roland Garros win clearly meant a lot
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It is fair to say that Carlos Alcaraz wants to win many Grand Slams, but his 2024 French Open win may always be among the most sentimental for him.

Alcaraz is keenly aware of the Spanish stronghold at Roland Garros. He became the sixth Spaniard to win the French Open in the past 30 years, joining the ranks of Sergei Bruguera, Carlos Moya, Albert Costa, his coach Juan Carlos Ferrero (in 2003), and Rafael Nadal, his idol who won an astounding 14 French Opens in the past 30 years.

His five-set win over Alexander Zverev capped off a great tournament that he entered with questions about his health having missed much of the clay court season with a forearm injury. He celebrated the win by going to his box and sharing long and tearful hugs with his team and his parents. Winning the French Open brought full circle a childhood dream of a 12-year-old Alcaraz at Roland Garros watching the tournament.

Carlos Alcaraz is 75% of the way to the career slam

Nadal is Alcaraz's idol, and he will most likely never surpass Nadal's winning record at Roland Garros. However, he is comfortable playing on all surfaces and has already won a Grand Slam on each. He won the US Open in 2022, Wimbledon in 2023, and the French Open in 2024; only the Australian Open is left for him to win and capture the career Grand Slam.

At 21, it is hard to fathom that he will not win an Australian Open at some point in his career. It is the Grand Slam he has played the least in his young career, playing only three times in the past five years while sitting out twice with injuries. His best finish was in 2024 as a quarterfinalist.

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If Alcaraz has learned anything from his idol Nadal's career, it is to win as often as he can while he is young. Injuries and increased competition can accumulate as the years go on so every Grand Slam is a must-win because it could be the last one.

Next up for Alcaraz is an ankle tattoo of the Eiffel Tower commemorating his French Open win, a Wimbledon title defense, and hopefully a Paris Olympics must-see Spanish doubles team matchup with Nadal.

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