Alexander Zverev's epic confession after win over Carlos Alcaraz

World No.3 Alexander Zverev (pictured left) winning a point against Carlos Alcaraz and (pictured right) the pair embracing.
World No.3 Alexander Zverev (pictured left) told reporters his nice message to teenager Carlos Alcaraz (pictured right) after his victory at the French Open. (Getty Images)

Alexander Zverev produced a remarkable match to defeat teen prodigy Carlos Alcaraz in the French Open quarter-final and the German has now admitted what he said to the 19-year-old at the net.

Many tennis fans were touting this year's French Open to be Alcaraz's maiden grand slam victory after his breakout year and recent win at the Madrid Open.

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However, World No.3 Zverev produced his best match of the tournament to defeat Alcaraz 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6.

The clash lived up to the hype as Zverev won the epic on his second match point.

As the pair approached the net, Zverev embraced the teenager as they both shared a laugh and the German revealed what he said after the match.

"He's an incredible player; I told him at the net that he will win this tournament a lot of times, not only once," Zverev told reporters.

"I hope I can win it before he starts beating us all and we have no chance at all."

Billed as the hors d'oeuvre before the Rafa Nadal-Novak Djokovic evening showdown the match proved a feast in itself.

Alexander Zverev (pictured) looks on against Carlos Alcaraz during the Men's Singles Quarter Final match at 2022 French Open.
Alexander Zverev (pictured) looks on against Carlos Alcaraz during the Men's Singles Quarter Final match at 2022 French Open. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

Zverev raced to a two-set lead with Alcaraz making a string of unforced errors. But then the sun dipped behind the stands and the 19-year-old woke up, taking the third set and holding set point in a gripping fourth-set tiebreak.

Zverev, however, saved that point before winning on his second match point.

"I knew I had to play my best all match," said Zverev.

"I am extremely happy I won the tiebreak. The match was turning his way. I told him at the net he will win this tournament. I hope I can win it before he starts beating us all."

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Alcaraz was struggling in the second set to display the dazzling form with which he has lit up the clay court season.

The third set began in a similar vein with Zverev almost breaking in the ninth game.

But Alcaraz recovered from 0-30 down to hold. Then, to to roars of surprised delight from a partisan crowd, he broke himself to win the set.

For the first time Zverev, who lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas in the 2021 semi-final, looked rattled.

The fourth set featured some superb tennis, Alcaraz unveiling his drop-shot and Zverev scrambling magnificently. Then an Alcaraz double-fault handed Zverev a break and the chance to serve for the match.

Alcaraz, however, took on the challenge, forcing three break back points, taking the second to level at 5-5.

Both players subsequently held so it was into a tiebreak which also oscillated with several mini-breaks, until, finally, Zverev sealed it.

After the match, Alcaraz took to social media to reflect on his clay court run.

"Time to learn and improve, we'll be back to try again next year," he said on social media.

Zverev will face either Rafa Nadal or Novak Djokovic in the French Open semi-final.

with AAP

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