Carlos Alcaraz tells everything about 'struggles' he fought for months before IW win

Alcaraz had something he wanted to share with everyone after winning his first title in nine months in Indian Wells.

by Dzevad Mesic
Carlos Alcaraz tells everything about 'struggles' he fought for months before IW win
© Getty Images Sport - Matthew Stockman

Carlos Alcaraz made a pretty honest admission following his Indian Wells win as the 20-year-old Spaniard revealed that he was struggling mentally and physically in the last couple of months and that even his close ones noticed that he wasn't as enjoying his time on the court as he used to. 

On Sunday, world No. 2 Alcaraz delivered a major performance in the Indian Wells final to beat Daniil Medvedev 7-6 (5) 6-1 and successfully defend his title in the desert. For the 20-year-old Spaniard, it was his 13th title but also his first one since last year's Wimbledon. 

After Alcaraz impressively became a Wimbledon champion last summer after beating Novak Djokovic, he had won six out of 10 tournaments played in 2023 up until that point. Considering how great and dominant Alcaraz was in 2023, many expected him to make more major results in the remainder of 2023. But then, Alcaraz didn't win any titles in his last seven tournaments played of the 2023 season. 

At the start of this season, Alcaraz's title drought continued after he lost in the Australian Open quarterfinal - the Buenos Aires semifinal - and retired injured in the Rio de Janeiro first round. But after going without a title in 10 consecutive tournaments, the 20-year-old managed to defend his Indian Wells title and also win his first title in nine months. 

"Well, yeah. It's difficult to put it into words, because I had really difficult months. Let's say the last two months it was difficult for me to find myself. I didn't enjoy, let's say, stepping on the court. I wasn't myself on the court the last two months, let's say, two months, three months, so it was difficult for me," Alcaraz admitted. 

"Yeah, it means a lot to me, lifting this trophy, winning this tournament, because I overcome a lot of problems in my head, a lot of problems physically. It was so special for that. Not that I didn't win a tournament since Wimbledon.

"For me, it doesn't matter. It's about the feelings, as I said. For me, if I win tournaments or not, I don't care. It's about enjoying playing tennis, once I step on the court, putting my game. It's what only matters.

"That's why I'm really, really happy to lift this trophy, because I found myself at this tournament, and I felt really, really good."

Carlos Alcaraz
Carlos Alcaraz© Getty Images Sport - Matthew Stockman

Alcaraz: People close to me noticed something wasn't right

After winning Wimbledon, Alcaraz had a couple of strong and deep runs but titles just weren't coming. During the North American hard court swing, Alcaraz lost a thriller Cincinnati Masters final after not realizing a match point against Djokovic and he also lost to Medvedev in the US Open semifinal. In late 2023, Alcaraz was also a semifinalist in Beijing and the ATP Finals. 

"Well, it was really difficult period after Wimbledon. I couldn't find my style, my game, but anyway, I was enjoying after Wimbledon a really good American swing after that," Alcaraz added.

"Of course in Beijing, Shanghai, I did pretty well. At the end of the year I didn't play well, but it didn't matter that I was not playing well. I was enjoying.

"You know, the last few months it was difficult for me because I didn't find myself. I was struggling to enjoy on the court. My family, my team, people close to me was telling me that, that what happened to me, that I was not smiling as much as I was doing before. Yeah, it's a difficult moment for me, but yeah, I was enjoying after Wimbledon."

Carlos Alcaraz
Carlos Alcaraz© Getty Images Sport - Clive Mason

Alcaraz on the lesson learned from this period

En route to winning Indian Wells, Alcaraz was playing great throughout the tournament and his run also included notable wins over Jannik Sinner and Alexander Zverev. The win against Sinner was especially impressive, considering that the Italian was 16-0 in 2024 before losing to the Spaniard. 

Now, after everything that happened in the last couple of months, Alcaraz is a firm believer than any problem can be solved with the right attitude and people around you.

"That you can overcome all the problems that you have. It doesn't matter what problems you have. If you believe in yourself, you have a really good team around, you work hard, everything can turn around," Alcaraz said.

"I think that's the biggest lesson that I take from this tournament."

Carlos Alcaraz
Carlos Alcaraz© Getty Images Sport - Matthew Stockman

Meanwhile, Alcaraz is now set for the Miami Masters, where he won his first Masters title in 2022. Last year, Alcaraz fell short of defending his Miami title after losing to Sinner in the semifinal. 

It remains to be seen if Alcaraz can also win Miami and complete a perfect Double Swing.

Carlos Alcaraz Indian Wells