Alcaraz vs Auger-Aliassime: Things we learned

The box office Spaniard has returned to the quarter-finals for a rematch with Stefanos Tsitsipas

Carlos Alcaraz, fourth round, Roland-Garros 2024©Corinne Dubreuil / FFT
 - Alex Sharp

The calls of "vamos" rang around Court Philippe-Chatrier on Sunday as Carlos Alcaraz extended his stay at Roland-Garros and moved into the last eight.

The world No.3 downed a resurgent Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-3, 6-3, 6-1. Here are the main takeaways…

Patience building in Carlitos' armoury

Alcaraz has become a human highlight reel on a tennis court.

On serve at 4-3 in the first set, he was pushing for an opening. That opening came with a 24-shot rally containing everything.

Punching his fist in the air, the Spaniard knew he was making an impact. Following four break points in the game, the No.3 seed finally stole away the 5-3 lead. This was the springboard to take control.

And there's a sense that Alcaraz isn't trying to blast a winner every point, isn't putting on a show every point. He is embedding patience into his game.

"I'm really happy with my performance today. I played a really high level, was really focused, no up and downs," he said. "That is something I'm working on.

"I feel strong in the rallies, playing five, six, seven shots, I knew I could get my chances. That gave me a good rhythm. I feel I'm getting better and better."

Carlos has the key

Understandably in a buoyant mood, Alcaraz is buzzing ahead of his quarter-final rematch with No.9 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Last June the world No.3 dominated proceedings 6-2, 6-1, 7-6(5) in Paris to extend their head-to-head to 5-0 in his favour. With his current shotmaking and his current belief, Alcaraz is talking up his chances.

"I'm really looking forward to this match. I love this kind of challenge. I've seen a lot of Stefanos' matches recently, I know he's playing great tennis, has a lot of confidence.

"But I think I have the key against him. I'll try to make the shots that put him in trouble, show my best and hopefully the crowd will enjoy it as much as me."

Sporting icon in the making

It's almost guaranteed there will be hot shots flying around social media when Alcaraz is in action.

Take the second set, where at 4-2 Alcaraz sprinted left and instinctively lasered a single-handed backhand down the line. Strikes like that make him one of the hottest tickets in sport.

Four-time NBA champion Tony Parker witnessed this moment of magic from courtside, and four-time Formula One champion Alain Prost and two-time Rugby Union World Cup winning captain Siya Kolisi were also in the stands.

Alcaraz clearly has star quality.

FAA back on upward trajectory

Auger-Aliassime broke into the top 10 at the tail end of 2022, but last season the 23-year-old endured a turbulent spell of results alongside a left knee injury.

Into 2024, the Canadian seed fell to world No.36 in March, his lowest ranking since March 2019. However, Auger-Aliassime responded with a final run in Madrid last month.

At Roland-Garros this year the tension has gone, he's been playing with purpose and he's walking between points with his chest puffed out.

Back to a 2022 kind of form, the Canadian could build on his three wins here for a very successful second half to the season.

Felix Auger-Aliassime, fourth round, Roland-Garros 2024©️Corinne Dubreuil / FFT