Carlos Alcaraz sent fiery warning by Stefanos Tsitsipas ahead of French Open showdown

Ewan West
Carlos Alcaraz and Stefanos Tsitsipas
Carlos Alcaraz and Stefanos Tsitsipas

Stefanos Tsitsipas proclaimed that Carlos Alcaraz saying he enjoys playing against him “ignites a fire within my belly” ahead of the pair’s 2024 French Open matchup.

The Greek star revealed his goal against Alcaraz is to be “as annoying as possible” and asserted that his chances in the match “shouldn’t be too low” based on his clay-court form.

Tsitsipas and Alcaraz will face off for the sixth time in the last eight at Roland Garros on Tuesday, with the Spaniard having won all five of their previous encounters. The duo met at the same stage in Paris last year, with Alcaraz earning a comfortable 6-2, 6-1, 7-6(5) victory.

After cruising past Felix Auger-Aliassime in the fourth round, Alcaraz expressed his excitement about playing Tsitsipas and declared he believes he holds “the key” to beat him.

In his post-match press conference, the two-time Grand Slam champion expanded on his thoughts on facing Tsitsipas when asked about his “key” comment.

“Well, he didn’t beat me yet,” the world No 3 said. “So, the matches that we’ve played I have won all of them, so, that’s what I wanted to mean when I said I had the key against him because I think it’s five or six, zero.

Carlos Alcaraz addresses importance of his coach after John McEnroe criticism at the French Open

“But it doesn’t mean that have to play at my 50%. So I know that Stefanos is playing great, but I know tactically what I have to do in the match, which I’m not gonna say, that’s obviously, but I know what I have to do in the match.”

Tsitsipas downed Matteo Arnaldi in four sets on Sunday to reach the French Open quarter-finals for the fourth time in five years. The world No 9 was a runner-up at the Paris Grand Slam in 2021.

Following his win over Arnaldi, Tsitsipas divulged that he was aware of Alcaraz’s comments about playing him and warned he would try to make the 21-year-old uncomfortable on court.

“Well, he has said how he likes playing against me, I’ve heard him say that in the past,” said the 25-year-old.

“My goal with it is to be as annoying as possible on the court and to make it as challenging as possible. This is my mindset entering the court, I’ll try obviously to do my best and give it a good fight.

“He’s one of the best for a reason and I really feel like, currently, I sit in a good place, and I feel like my chances going in shouldn’t be too low because I’ve shown some good tennis on clay so far.”

The two-time Grand Slam finalist was then asked if Alcaraz saying he likes playing against him provides extra motivation.

“Yes, absolutely. It does for sure build a little bit of a fire, ignites a fire within my belly and I do want to go out there and show everyone that I got it.”

Carlos Alcaraz triumphs, Jannik Sinner replaces Novak Djokovic as No 1, Iga Swiatek prevails among our French Open week 2 predictions