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Carlos Alcaraz: “The US Open suits me the best; Wimbledon might be the trickiest”

Carlos Alcaraz told L’Equipe that he is still in a state of shock after his victory in New York

Carlos Alcaraz in New York © Jorge Fuentelsaz //EFE / SIPA

Time spent with Carlos Alcaraz is still precious for the media, as the Spanish teenager is not fluent in English yet and can’t really dig deep in his answers in press conferences. The 2022 US Open sat down with some international titles on Monday and French newspaper L’Equipe was there to find out more about Alcaraz’ next projects.

It seems the enormity of what he achieved over the past two weeks in New York has yet to fully sink in.

“When I woke up, it was normal in sense that I could not believe I was No 1 and a Grand Slam winner”, Alcaraz said.

Alcaraz beat Casper Ruud in four sets on Sunday to win the US Open for his first Grand Slam title, a win that also took him to the top of the world rankings. He’s the youngest man ever to be ranked world No 1.

Spaniard says Wimbledon might his toughest slam

Considering that he grew up on clay, Alcaraz has adapted quickly to hard courts, winning the Masters 1000 title in Miami earlier this year and now the US Open. The surface, it seems, is no problem and the US Open itself brought out the best in the 19-year-old.

“The US Open is the major tournament that suits me the most,” he said. “Not only based on my game, but also on what American fans express in the stands, in every single match. I feel like my game fits with what they want to see”.

The French Open, where he made the quarter-finals this year, would seem to be a tournament he can succeed on, as is the Australian Open. Wimbledon, on grass, though, may be the toughest nut to crack. He lost in the fourth round to Jannik Sinner this year and in the second round to Daniil Medvedev in 2021.

“Wimbledon might be the more complicated to reach for me, even if I love playing in grass,” he admitted. “I only played there two or three times. When I was a kid, I felt like Wimbledon was the coolest tournament to play.

I want to see the same kid as I was when I was 10

Carlos Alcaraz

His US Open win and ascent to No 1 will doubtless raise expectations as he continues on the Tour but Alcaraz says he would try to handle the pressure by staying as true to himself as possible.

“I still don’t know what kind of pressure I will have, I never played as a No 1,” he said. “I just don’t want to change the way I’m playing since I am a kid. I mean, smiling and enjoying. The goal is to keep the pressure away. Some players look like they don’t love tennis when they play. This, I don’t want. I want to see the same kid as when I was 10”.

 

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