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Ricky’s pick for the Alcaraz vs. Dimitrov match on Day 10 at Roland Garros

The early stages of the rivalry between Carlos Alcaraz and Stefanos Tsitsipas has been one sided.

Will the trend continue in the French Open quarterfinals on Tuesday night, or will Tsitsipas turn the tide?

Even when Alcaraz was a clear underdog, he still defeated Tsitsipas. That was the case at the 2021 U.S. Open, when the Spaniard was just 18 years old and prevailed 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(2), 0-6, 7-6(5). Alcaraz has since gotten the job done at the 2022 Miami Masters (7-5, 6-3), a couple of weeks later in Barcelona (6-4, 5-7, 6-2), and again at the 2023 Barcelona Open (6-3, 6-4).

Nonetheless, Tsitsipas cannot be discounted–especially not at RG. The world No. 5 is 22-6 all time at this event with a semifinal performance in 2020 and a runner-up finish in 2021. So far at this event he has beaten Jiri Vesely, Roberto Carballes Baena, Diego Schwartzman, and Sebastian Ofner.

Now the competition level ratchets up bigtime. Alcaraz is 34-3 this year with a quartet of ATP titles (Buenos Aires, Indian Wells, Barcelona, and Madrid) and he is through to the FO QFs for a second straight time following victories over Flavio Cobolli, Taro Daniel, Denis Shapovalov, and Lorenzo Musetti.

“I think we know that he is probably the best player in the world,” Musetti said on the heels of his 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 fourth-round loss. “At the moment it’s really tough to beat him, especially on clay.”

“I need to play good tennis,” Tsitsipas commented. “Carlos is someone that keeps the intensity high at all times. He’s someone that is not going to give you gaps where his attention is not there. He’s very energetic, and you can see that on the court. He adds a lot of that into the rallies, into his rituals when he is out there playing the game.”

In a best-of-five match on his favorite surface, Tsitsipas may steal a set. But in the end this should be mostly all Alcaraz.

Pick: Alcaraz in 4

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on Twitter at @Dimonator.