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Alcaraz makes early entrance into all-court elite with French Open triumph

PARIS :Carlos Alcaraz made a grand entrance into the tennis history books as he claimed his maiden French Open title to become the youngest man to capture Grand Slams on all three surfaces with a see-saw five-set victory over German Alexander Zverev on Sunday.

The 6-3 2-6 5-7 6-1 6-2 win may not have been a classic, but the Spaniard showed he belonged among the elite as he added a third Grand Slam title to his 2022 U.S. Open and 2023 Wimbledon triumphs.

Alcaraz became the seventh man to win a major on hard, grass and clay courts, a feat that eluded some of the sport's greats, including American Pete Sampras, who boasts 14 major titles, but never won at Roland Garros.

At 21 years old, Alcaraz has played in three grand slam finals and won them all, while for comparison, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic were in their late 20s before they mastered the sport's slowest surface.

"Since I was little kid I was running from school to put on the TV to watch this tournament. Now I am lifting the trophy in front of all of you," said Alcaraz, who was described by Zverev as a "Hall of Famer".

Sunday's defeat prolonged Zverev's frustration at Grand Slams, with the German still chasing a first title despite reaching the last four eight times.

"I'll be back next year," Zverev promised.

In the first men's Roland Garros final not featuring any member of the Big Three - Rafael Nadal, Djokovic and Federer - in two decades, Alcaraz and Zverev failed to impress, their lack of consistency making for a disappointing display.

Alcaraz often looked like he had got the upper hand, only to let it slip several times but he ultimately rose to the occasion against an increasingly frustrated Zverev, who entered the final on the back of a 12-match winning

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