T Tennis

Alexander Zverev lost his second major final. © APA/afp / DIMITAR DILKOFF

Zverev takes a sporting approach to wrong decisions: “Only people too”

Carlos Alcaraz won the French Open for the first time on Sunday evening against Alexander Zverev after a long and varied final. While it was the Spaniard's third Grand Slam success, Alexander Zverev failed again in the final.

Tennis star Alexander Zverev also lost his second major final. For him there was deja vu. Like in 2020 in Flushing Meadows in a memorable game against Lower Austrian Dominic Thiem, there was no happy ending after a five-set battle. After his final defeat at the French Open, the 27-year-old reacted to the wrong decision in the fifth set without any major frustration.

Although it was “frustrating”, “at the end of the day it is of course a huge difference whether you are down 1:3 in the fifth set or it is 2:2 and then the match is open again. But it is what it is. Referees are only human – and they make mistakes,” said Zverev after the final defeat. But he also emphasized: “In situations like this, you hope there are no mistakes.”

What happened?

In the 5th set, when the score was 1:2 and 40:15 for Zverev, the linesman called out Alcaraz's second serve, but the chair umpire Renaud Lichtenstein corrected the decision after seeing the ball's imprint on the sand in the Court Philippe Chatrier. As the Hawk-Eye images later proved, this was a bad decision. The ball had missed the line slightly.

However, these images were not available to Lichtenstein. Unlike the other Grand Slam tournaments, technical aids for ball tracking are not used at the French Open. At the US Open, Australian Open, Wimbledon and many other tournaments, so-called electronic line calling has already replaced the line judges, and the exit call sounds automatically. The system will be used across the board on the ATP tour from 2025.

Carlos Alcaraz won the French open for the first time. © ANSA / TERESA SUAREZ

After the scene, Alcaraz served to make it 3-1 and a little later won the fifth set and thus the match and the tournament. There were “many unfortunate moments,” said Zverev. But he doesn't want to use the situation as an excuse for the second defeat in his second Grand Slam final after 2020: “Carlos played better in the fourth and fifth sets. I also think he deserved to win.”

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