Carlos Alcaraz revealed that he probably "lost his joy" about tennis over the summer and that his goal for the US Open was to just be himself and have fun on the court. After not winning a title since the Madrid Masters, Alcaraz made a strong run at the US Open to win his first Grand Slam title.
Prior to the US Open, Alcaraz had not impressed much, as he was beaten in the second round of the Montreal Masters before losing in the Cincinnati Masters quarterfinals. After beating Casper Ruud in the US Open final, Alcaraz said enjoying his tennis again was the key.
"I lost the joy a little bit. I felt the pressure," Alcaraz said, according to the ATP website. "I couldn't smile on the court, which I'm doing every match, every tournament. I've come here to enjoy, you know? To smile on the court, to enjoy playing tennis.
I love playing tennis, of course. I would say that if I smile, if I have fun on the court, I see my best level, my best tennis." At 19, Alcaraz is a Grand Slam champion, a two-time Masters champion and the best player in the world.
But Alcaraz is not satisfied, since he aspires to achieve many more successes before ending his career. "I can only say that I am very happy to become number 1 in the world, to continue growing. I am very very happy. I never thought that he would achieve something like this at 19 years old.
Everything has come so fast. For me it's amazing. It's something I've dreamed of since I was a child, since I started playing tennis."
David Ferrer on Carlos Alcaraz
Former World No. 3 David Ferrer has stated that Carlos Alcaraz is Rafael Nadal's natural successor in a recent interview with Marca.
"It is clear that Carlos is a blessing. We have Rafa Nadal, who is unique, but the truth is that we have relief because he is a different player, special. Rafa Nadal is unique, but Carlos is his natural successor; he has something different," Ferrer said.
"Yes, it is surprising how he has faced favoritism and pressure at 19 years old. He has something different from the others as in his day happened with Rafa, Federer and Djokovic. He is a tennis player who possesses all the shots and dominates the point. He is humble and wants to continue learning every day," Ferrer said.