Carlos Alcaraz: 'It was clear to me that they were going to...'
by SIMONE BRUGNOLI | VIEW 2824
It will be a very high-level week on the ATP Tour: seven members of the Top-10 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, as well as ten of the Top-15, will compete from Monday in three different tournaments. There will be tennis for all tastes: indoors, on hard courts and on brick dust.
Carlos Alcaraz will compete for the first time this year, and he will do so by topping the field at the Argentina Open, an ATP 250 event on clay. At the ABN AMRO Open, an ATP 500 event in Rotterdam, will be the defending champion, the Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime, and the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas.
While Taylor Fritz is the top seed at the Delray Beach Open, a hard-court ATP 250 tournament. FIVE THINGS TO SEE IN BUENOS AIRES 1) Alcaraz Returns: World No. 2 Alcaraz will compete for the first time since November, and he will do so leading the ATP 250 in Buenos Aires.
The 19-year-old, who missed the Australian Open with a leg injury, will play for the first time at the Argentina Open. The Spaniard tasted success on clay in 2022, winning crowns in Rio de Janeiro, Barcelona and Madrid. 2) Norrie makes his debut: Cameron Norrie will make his debut in Buenos Aires this week, after competing in Colombia for Great Britain in the Davis Cup earlier this month.
The second seed comes in with a 10-2 record on the year, picking up wins over Top 10 members (Rafael Nadal and Taylor Fritz) in the United Cup. 3) Returning champions: Diego Schwartzman and Dominic Thiem have tasted success in Buenos Aires.
The Argentine lifted the trophy in 2021, while the Austrian won the title in 2016 and 2018. Schwartzman is the fourth seed in the clay court event, with Thiem entering thanks to a wild card. 4) Local hopes: in addition to Schwartzman, Francisco Cerúndolo, Sebastián Báez and five other locals will fly the Argentine flag.
Cerúndolo made it through qualifying to reach the final in Buenos Aires in 2021, while Báez reached the quarterfinals in his debut last year.
Alcaraz is the top seed in Baires
Roger Federer is the Lionel Messi of the tennis world, reckons World No.
2 Carlos Alcaraz. "Yes, Federer is the Messi of tennis because of how easy he [looks playing]. Messi was the superhero in the World Cup and practically put himself in the entire country so that Argentina would consecrate itself in Qatar," Carlos Alcaraz said.
"I loved [Federer's] tennis. I loved watching him play. I was watching his highlights all day, watching matches. I was not thinking of holding number one all year. It was clear to me that they were going to take it from me. I have not yet played as number two, so we will see what feel," Alcaraz said.