Roland Garros: Five things we learned on Day 15 - Intensity and rethinks

Would you believe it, the organisers of the tournament are going to rethink the whole night session gig. So we must not ask how did they even get into the position where they're thinking about a rethink. Clearly not enough intensity. Ask Alexander Zverev about that.


Before the mortal combat between fourth seed Alexander Zverev and third seed Carlos Alcaraz commenced on Court Philippe Chatrier, the paying gaggle were treated to something soft and fluffy. A 50-piece orchestra of strings and brass regaled us with a section from Rossini’s William Tell overture while 10 people waved racquets left and right and centre. In the next piece, ball boys and girls joined the swirling throng who had whipped out black scarves to adorn their movements. And then the fly-over from the Patrouille de France who can do all kinds of acrobatic stunts up there in the heavens. Everyone clapped.

Beast man

Back on terra firma of the Court Phillipe Chatrier, Carlos Alcaraz and Alexander Zverev performed myriad athletic wonders over four hours and 19 minutes. Tense and edgy, it was. Hardly surprising really as both were playing in their first final at the French Open. Just as he did at the US Open final in New York in September 2020, Zverev lost. "We're both physically strong," said the German. "But he's a beast. He's an animal, for sure. The intensity he plays tennis at is different to other people." But, hola, not only is the 21-year-old Spaniard tough. He thinks. "He changed his tactic a lot in the fifth set," Zverev bemoaned. "He started to play a lot higher, a lot deeper for me to not create as much power. He's a fantastic player and physically he's fantastic."

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