Carlos Alcaraz's Warning to Novak Djokovic: 'I'm Ambitious and Ready for Rome!'

Carlos Alcaraz claimed his fourth Masters 1000 title on Sunday in Madrid

by Jovica Ilic
Carlos Alcaraz's Warning to Novak Djokovic: 'I'm Ambitious and Ready for Rome!'

Carlos Alcaraz is a happy camper despite a slow start to the season! The young Spaniard kicked off the 2023 action in February, losing only two matches and lifting four ATP titles to lead the ATP Race. The latest crown came on Sunday at home in Madrid, and Carlos is eager for more, entering the upcoming Rome Masters.

Thus, Carlos will share the draw with world no. 1 Novak Djokovic for the first time this year, with the top seeds hoping to arrange the title clash if they both win five matches at Foro Italico. Alcaraz will debut in Rome, skipping it a year ago and hoping for a deep run in his first interaction with the Italian crown.

Regardless of his result, Carlos will pass Novak and become world no. 1 after Rome, starting his 23rd week on the ATP throne and keeping it at least until the end of Roland Garros. Only five ATP points separate the world's best players at the top of the standings, and Alcaraz will become world no.

1 after Rome even if he loses in the second round and Djokovic defends the crown. Carlos did an excellent job in the last couple of weeks, keeping 1500 ATP points in Barcelona and Madrid and securing the no. 1 position ahead of Roland Garros.

Alcaraz defended his title in Caja Magica following a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 victory over a lucky loser Jan-Lennard Struff in two hours and 25 minutes, lifting his tenth ATP crown at such a young age.

Carlos Alcaraz will compete in Rome and become world no.

1 after it.

The home favorite did not play at his best. However, it was enough to overpower an aggressive rival and become the first defending champion since Rafael Nadal. The Spaniard served at 70% and played better behind the second serve.

He denied six out of eight break points and secured three return games from 11 opportunities, enough to emerge at the top. Carlos hit 19 winners and 31 unforced errors, and Jan-Lennard added 26 direct points and 33 mistakes.

The young gun had more service winners, although Struff forged the advantage in the shortest range up to four strokes with his aggressive approach. Carlos erased the deficit in the mid-range rallies and earned his victory in that segment.

The German threw everything at the young gun, keeping the points on his tally and standing as a better rival after the opening two sets. Alcaraz prevailed in the opener after saving three break points at 5-4. Jan-Lennard made a flying start in the second and brought it home from there to introduce a decider.

The Spaniard saved a crucial break point in the third game with a service winner and grabbed a break in the next one to make the difference. The home favorite served well in the last couple of games and held at love at 5-3 to emerge at the top.

"I have achieved beautiful things and will become world no. 1 again soon. I'm proud of my hard work and everything it has brought to me. I'm ambitious and will compete in Rome next week," Carlos Alcaraz says.

Carlos Alcaraz Novak Djokovic