Alcaraz: “This win gives me a lot of confidence to go for Roland Garros”

Antonio Arenas Men's Tennis, Mutua News, Tennis

Carlos Alcaraz was crowned Mutua Madrid Open champion after beating Alexander Zverev in a dream final (6-3, 6-1) that was the shortest in the history of the tournament. The new ATP No. 6 is having a magical season with four titles won, two of them Masters 1000s, in Miami and the Caja Mágica.

The Spanish player admitted that the problems with his ankle, which he twisted in his quarter-final clash with Rafael Nadal, had worsened before his match with the German. “Well, this morning it was a little more swollen. And also I had a blister on my foot which was a little bit infected, and it was a little bit of a tough start to the day”.

Fortunately, Alcaraz was able to play in the final thanks to some quick recovery work. “It was difficult for me to walk, but I think that after a while with my team, with the physio, with the doctor, we have managed to fix it, you know, to do something to be able to be 100% today”, he explained.

The #MMOPEN’s youngest champion, at 19 years and three days of age, is aware of the difficulty of his achievement given that he had to overcome Nadal, Djokovic and Zverev to do it. “I saw that the last time that a player beat the top three players in a row in three matches was Nalbandian in 2007. Of course, it gives me a lot of confidence right now with those wins. I mean, Djokovic, Rafa, good matches, Zverev an amazing match from my side. For me it’s amazing”.

Despite his astonishing form in 2022, Alcaraz played down talk of him being the best player. “Just because I won Barcelona, and I beat Djokovic and Rafa yesterday, I don’t consider myself the best player in the world. I also think that tomorrow I’m going to be 6th, so I still have five players in front of me to be the best one”.

A more immediate concern for the Murcia native will be the next Grand Slam in Paris. With his record so far this year on clay (16-1), he is considered one of the favourites. “It means a lot to me to get this title. So it gives me a lot of confidence right now to go to Roland Garros with all the power to go for a title in Paris”, he acknowledged.

Asked about his beginnings in the game, Alcaraz spoke of the keys to his development and had a few words for children who look up to him and want to follow in his footsteps. “I would tell them that if they want to be a tennis player, they just have to enjoy the moment. Not to make it an obligation for them. My family has always told me, first of all, to study, and after that, of course you can do all kinds of sports”, he remembered.

Another emotional moment of the champion of 2022 #MMOPEN was when he was joined by his entire family in the Manolo Santana Stadium. “Well, I’m very much a family person. As a kid, whenever I could, I’d rather be at home than somewhere else. For me to celebrate this title, which is very special, with my family, with my cousins, uncles, grandparents, all my family in general, it’s very, very special”, he concluded.