Carlos Alcaraz has been the breakout player this season. The Spanish teen sensation has taken the ATP tour by storm and has risen up the ranks at a very rapid speed. He started the season by winning his maiden ATP 500 title in Rio and then also win his maiden Masters title at Miami. He was exceptional on clay and won two back-to-back titles at Barcelona and Madrid.
He made it to the quarterfinal of the French Open and finished in the Round of 16 at Wimbledon. But he bounced back to make back-to-back finals at Hamburg and Umag. To everyone’s surprise, despite being seeded second in Montreal, he lost his opening match to Tommy Paul.
Seeded third in Cincinnati this week, Alcaraz addressed the press ahead of the competition and spoke about the pressure he is under as the World No.4. He acknowledged that being seeded so high at a Masters tournament brings added pressure, but also said that he is prepared for the challenge that lies ahead.
“Right now, I take each match as a challenge for me to stay the same as always. I am No. 4 in the world, one of the favorites to win this tournament, so it is a bit tough to handle the pressure,” Alcaraz said. “But I am training at my best. I am training with the objective to improve and try to produce the game I produced during the clay season and in Miami. It is a challenge for me to be the same.”
‘I know I am playing against the best players in the world, so I am going to try my best’: Carlos Alcaraz
After his shocking opening match loss in Montreal, Alcaraz admitted that he was under a lot of pressure and couldn’t handle it. He now understands this and wants to be in the present.
“I understood everything of what happened in Montreal. I couldn’t handle the pressure to be one of the favorites to win the tournament or be the ranking that I am right now. I come here to train and now show where I am,” Alcaraz said. “The kind of player I am means that I am trying to use the pressure in my favor. I know I am playing against the best players in the world, so I am going to try my best.”
He then reflected on other players studying his game and took it as a compliment for his growth. “I take it as a compliment. I think all the players push themselves to be better on the court against me,” Alcaraz said. “I think if they don’t play aggressively or at a high level, it is going to be a really tough match for them, so I am going to take that as a compliment.”