Carlos Alcaraz says he feels he can compete with the best at ‘every tournament and every surface’ after taking two of the biggest tennis scalps in Madrid.
The young Spaniard has pulled off an incredible feat beating both 21-time Grand Slam Champion Rafael Nadal and world number one Novak Djokovic in back to back matches.
Alcaraz has come a long way since his first head-to-head with Rafael Nadal 12 months ago at the 2021 Madrid Open where he only managed to win only three games against his hero in a 6-1, 6-2 drubbing on his 18th birthday.
He has since catapulted himself into the top ten rankings winning a series of titles already this year in Rio De Janeiro, Barcelona and the Miami Masters and will reach a record high of 6th in the world after beating Djokovic to reach the Madrid final.
The 19-year-old came back from a second set ankle injury to beat Nadal in three sets and came back from one set down against Djokovic to win a third set tie-breaker and he said this fighting mentality was the key to victory.
“As I have always said, you have to try to go for the match,” said Alcaraz.
“In those decisive moments is when you see the good players and the top players, that is where you can tell the difference between a good player and a top player, like Djokovic, Rafa, [Roger] Federer, or all the players that are ultimately there for a long time.”
“I want to make a difference on that. I want to make a difference, because in those key, decisive matches, I want to go for the match,” he said.
“If I play aggressive or if I lose, I’m going to leave with the feeling that I have come for the match and I just let it go.
“I will try to have to improve, doing better, but at least I leave the court with the feeling, well, I tried to go for it, I was trying it, and that’s what I was thinking on the tie-break. I just want to step in and go for the match, whatever happens.”
Alcaraz will now face Alexander Zverev to see if he can clinch his second Masters title of the year but he says he isn’t scared by any opposition and hopes he can carry that success into the forthcoming French Open.
“I feel ready to compete against them (Djokovic and Nadal) in every single tournament, on every single surface,” Alcaraz said.
“In a Grand Slam, it’s completely different. I think that when you have to play best-of-five sets… but I think that I am ready.”
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