Roland Garros: Five things we learned on Day 13 – Merit men on a mission

By Paul Myers - RFI
Tennis © Pierre René-Worms/RFI
© Pierre René-Worms/RFI

Big hitting and ambition. It was all out there on a sunny day in Paris.

Next time might be Sinner Time
And so the third seed Carlos Alcaraz muscled his way into the final following a five-set win over the second seed Jannik Sinner. The semi-final was their ninth meeting and Alcaraz's victory gives him a 5-4 advantage in what could be the rivalry of the next decade since Alcaraz is 20 and Sinner is 22. "I think that's exciting for the game, especially when head-to-head is quite close," said Sinner. "And the winner is happy and then the loser tries to find a way to beat him the next time. That's what I will try to do." Wimbledon, here we come.

Tell me about motivation
Carlos Alcaraz appears to be an hombre on a mission. At 20, he has already won the US Open and Wimbledon. The French Open has been in his sights for a while it appears. "I have a special feeling about this tournament," he enthused an hour or so after his win over the second seed Jannik Sinner. "Because I remember when I finished school I ran home just to put the TV on and watch the matches here in the French Open. I watched a lot of matches. Of course Rafa Nadal dominating this tournament for 14, 15 years. I wanted to put my name on that list of the Spanish players who won this tournament. Not only Rafa. [Juan Carlos] Ferrero, [Carlos] Moya, [Albert] Costa, a lot of Spanish players, legends from our sport that won this tournament, I really want to put my name on that list as well." You've got a chance my man.

Sainthood for Sinner
Jannik Sinner will roll away from the French Open with a wholesome cheque for 650,000 euros. And the glitter of becoming world number one for the first time. Sinner, who won the Australian Open in January, is is the first Italian to occupy top spot since the rankings were computerized in August 1973 and only the 29th man.

Jasmine Paolini will play top seed and defending champion Iga Swiatek in the women's singles final on Day 14. Just before the men's final on Day 15, she will appear in the women's doubles final with her fellow Italian Sara Errani who lost in the 2012 final against Maria Sharapova. "I'm excited about both finals," said 37-year-old Errani. "It's unbelievable also to be here to support her. To be in her corner is special also for me. We are such good friends. So it's amazing to see her. She already made me cry today when we reached the final. Let's see what we can do for her singles final and let's see also for the doubles."

New too
Alexander Zverev moved into his first final at the French Open. The 27-year-old German saw off Casper Ruud in four sets to maintain the streak that took him to the Italian Open in Rome just before the French Open. His outlook on reaching the showdown against Carlos Alcaraz was refreshingly simple. "If you're in the final of the French Open, you deserve to be there," he declared "That goes for him as well. He has played a fantastic tournament in general. I'm expecting a very difficult match." And so are we.

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Started: 02-07-2024 | Ends: 31-10-2024