Carlos Alcaraz and Alexander Zverev in 'crazy' drama at French Open

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Carlos Alcaraz and Alexander Zverev, pictured here in action at the French Open.
Carlos Alcaraz and Alexander Zverev both survived match points to advance to the French Open. Image: Getty

Top male stars Carlos Alcaraz and Alexander Zverev were both forced to save match points to avoid major upsets in the second round of the French Open on Wednesday.

Spanish teenager Alcaraz had to fight back from an early deficit in the fifth set to beat Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-1 6-7 (9-7) 5-7 7-6 (7-2) 6-4.

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The sixth seed won six of the final seven games of the match and the final half-dozen points in extraordinary scenes.

His second-round victory lasted more than four-and-a-half hours but he came perilously close to a surprise defeat.

Alcaraz is just 19 but arrived in Paris with a lot of expectations, based on a breakthrough season that has brought him a tour-leading four titles.

He is the youngest player to break into the top 10 of the ATP rankings since Rafael Nadal in 2005.

En route to the Madrid Open title earlier this month, the 19-year-old became the first man to beat both Nadal and Novak Djokovic in the same tournament on clay.

But he came perilously close to making a shock exit against fellow Spaniard Ramos-Vinolas - a 34-year-old who is ranked No.44.

Alcaraz was one point away losing when Ramos-Vinolas served for the victory at 5-4 in the fourth set.

But Ramos-Vinolas missed a crucial forehand, and 80 minutes later and after trailing 3-0 in the fifth, Alcaraz earned his first match point and converted it with an ace.

"I am still young but I am an experienced player now," he told a news conference.

"I feel comfortable playing in big stadiums, big matches, grand slams. I am ready to play these kind of matches in these situations.

"I want to play big battles and top battles against the best players in the world. Being No.1 is my dream since I stated playing tennis."

Carlos Alcaraz, pictured here in action against Albert Ramos-Vinolas at the French Open.
Carlos Alcaraz celebrates his win over Albert Ramos-Vinolas at the French Open. (Photo by Tnani Badreddine/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

Alexander Zverev also survives a match point

Alcaraz wasn't the only top star to save a match point and win on Wednesday at Roland Garros.

World No.3 Zverev overcame a woeful start and saved a match point of his own on his way to beating up-and-coming Argentine Sebastian Baez.

The German survived a late fightback from the World No.36 and screamed with relief when Baez sent a forehand wide on match point.

Zverev eventually won in five sets, 2-6 4-6 6-1 6-2 7-5, but said he "couldn't have played worse at the beginning".

Alexander Zverev, pictured here after beating Sebastian Baez at the French Open.
Alexander Zverev celebrates after beating Sebastian Baez at the French Open. (Photo by ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP via Getty Images)

It was the fifth year in a row that Zverev, who achieved his best result at Roland Garros when he reached the semi-finals last year, had to go through a five-setter in one of the opening two rounds.

"I lost a US Open final being two sets up and I've learned from it," he said.

"He's unbelievable and he's got a bright future ahead of him.

"I just tried to fight. You have to win these kind of matches, when you're not playing well because you can't always play well."

Tennis fans and commentators were left in disbelief over the dramatic scenes.

with agencies

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