‘He's new face of tennis – but it should be mixed’ – Alex Zverev blasts French Open chiefs over 'favouring' Alcaraz

CARLOS ALCARAZ was accused of getting preferential treatment because he is the "new face of tennis" by today's opponent Alexander Zverev.

The pair lock horns for the second time in four weeks in the French Open quarter-final today.


Their match is scheduled to be third on Court Philippe-Chatrier, the last of the day session, before Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic feature in the night session blockbuster.

But ahead of facing the exciting Spanish teenager, Zverev suggested his opponent would be favoured by Roland Garros chiefs, who will fit their schedule around the No6 seed.

The German, speaking before the order of play was confirmed denouncing his claims, said: "Of course, he's the new face of tennis.

"But it should be more mixed.

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"It's obvious in which direction things are going and who the tournament wants to see go through."

The No3 seed added: "I'm pretty sure I'm going to play at night against Alcaraz because that's just how it's gonna be.

“I'm getting ready for that."

Alcaraz played in the evening, a 9pm start in Paris, on the main show court twice earlier in the tournament – but gets an afternoon slot today.

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Ironically, Alcaraz did not want another night match – claiming it would be "unfair" to be handed another late finish.

The 19-year-old said: "Even if you finish at midnight, you have to look at everything that comes after that: dinner, physio.

“You don't rest the same because of the adrenaline of the match.

"If I play a third time at night it wouldn't seem fair to me.”

Alcaraz and Zverev met in the Madrid Open final on May 8.

The Spaniard, fresh from beating Nadal and Djokovic, thumped his opponent 6-3 6-1 – before the former US Open runner-up complained about a series of late finishes ahead of the final, including getting to getting to bed at 5.20am before facing the teen.

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Elsewhere, the Nadal camp were fuming the tournament's greatest-ever player's requests were ignored.

The 21-time Grand Slam champ's Roland Garros quarter-final against Djokovic – their 59th meeting – will be played in cooler and slower conditions, which favour the Serbian.

Nadal, who is 36 on Friday, asked for the match to be played in the afternoon but this was dismissed for the prime-time night-time slot – especially as it will be made free-to-air for TV viewers.

The 13-time singles winner said last Friday he “doesn’t like night sessions on clay” because the “humidity is higher, the ball is slower”.

His coach Carlos Moya said: “I would not speak of a lack of respect.

“Here at Roland Garros, Rafa has credit, he has won the tournament 13 times and if he has a request you should listen to him.

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“He is part of the history of Roland Garros, we know that no one is greater than Roland Garros.

“No one is bigger than the Grand Slam tournaments, but in the end it’s about business and we understand.”

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