“You have to like to suffer” – Alcaraz of 2024 echoes Nadal of 2012

Carlos Alcaraz reached the final of Roland-Garros 2024 by beating Jannik Sinner in five sets on Friday in Paris

Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz, Roland-Garros 2024/Australian Open 2012 Carlos Alcaraz Roland-Garros 2024 – © Federico Pestellini / Panoramic Rafael Nadal Open d’Australie 2012 – © Zuma / Panoramic
Roland Garros •Semi-final • completed
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The emotion on Carlos Alcaraz‘s face at the time of his victory showed just what reaching the Roland-Garros final means to the Spaniard. The world No 3 defeated Jannik Sinner after five sets and four hours and nine minutes of play on Friday on the Court Philippe-Chatrier.

Trailing two sets to one, the 21-year-old struggled to play his best tennis against Sinner before finally finding the key in the last set of the match. Alcaraz wore a smile when speaking to Alex Corretja after clinching victory, explaining that he had enjoyed this battle against his Italian rival.

“You have to like to suffer,” Alcaraz said in his on-court interview.

“Even more so on clay, here at Roland-Garros. Long rallies, four-hour matches, five sets. We have to fight. You have to suffer. But as I’ve often told my team, you have to like to suffer,” the Spaniard continued.

These words echo those of his compatriot and role model Rafael Nadal after his defeat in the final of the 2012 Australian Open against Novak Djokovic.

Djokovic beats Nadal in epic in the final of the 2012 Australian Open


Rafael Nadal, Australian Open 2012

“It’s nice to fight, to try to go to the limit, to take your body to the limit of its possibilities. It’s something I really love, and I always like to suffer,” Nadal said at the time.

“When you are fit, passionate about playing, ready to play, you are able to suffer and appreciate suffering.

“That’s how I felt today, and it’s a really good feeling. I suffered during the match, but I appreciated all the problems I had during the whole match. I tried to be there, to find solutions all the time. I played a lot with my heart. I played a lot with my mind, and it’s something that’s nice to live and not just to play tennis.”

Alcaraz became the youngest player in the Open era to reach a Grand Slam final on every surface. He will take on Alexander Zverev on Sunday in the final of Roland-Garros, to try to put his name on ‘La Coupe des Mousquetaires’ alongside his idol and 14-time champion Nadal.

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