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'I did everything I could,' says French Open runner-up Zverev

Alexander Zverev is still looking for his first Grand Slam title (ALAIN JOCARD)
Alexander Zverev is still looking for his first Grand Slam title (ALAIN JOCARD)

Alexander Zverev said Carlos Alcaraz was a deserving winner of the French Open on Sunday after the German watched an elusive first Grand Slam title slip again through his grasp.

The 27-year-old Zverev, appearing in his second major final after the 2020 US Open, led by two sets to one before Alcaraz rallied for a 6-3, 2-6, 5-7, 6-1, 6-2 victory.

"I felt like this Grand Slam final I did everything I could," said Zverev, who blew a two-set lead against Dominic Thiem in New York four years ago.

"At the US Open I kind of gave it away myself. It's a bit different."

Zverev, who settled a court case in Germany two days ago over domestic abuse allegations, came into the Roland Garros final on a 12-match winning streak after collecting the title in Rome last month.

He looked well positioned to finally get over the line at a Grand Slam after recovering from 5-2 down to take the third set, moving to within one set of the trophy.

Alcaraz had other ideas though and won 12 of the final 15 games to snatch the title, his third overall as he became the youngest man to win Grand Slams on clay, grass and hard courts at the age of 21.

"He played fantastic. He played better than me the fourth and fifth set," said Zverev.

"He's a beast. He's an animal, for sure. The intensity he plays tennis at is different to other people."

There was a crucial juncture in the fifth set when Alcaraz appeared to have doubled-faulted while facing two break points at 2-1.

The chair umpire overruled the line judge's out call, much to Zverev's dismay, and Hawkeye replays showed it was indeed out.

Alcaraz went on to hold and it proved a crucial moment in the match.

"There's a difference whether you're down 3-1 in the fifth set or you're back to 2-all. That's a deciding difference," said Zverev.

"It's frustrating in the end, but it is what it is. Umpires make mistakes. They're also human, and that's okay.

"But of course in a situation like that, you wish there wouldn't be mistakes."

mw/jc