Carlos Alcaraz: 'I have to be relaxed'
by SIMONE BRUGNOLI | VIEW 2788
After a solid debut at the Western & Southern Open, Carlos Alcaraz has become the player with the most wins of the season. The 19-year-old from Murcia reached No.43 thanks to outscoring local Mackenzie McDonald 6-3, 6-2 in just 65 minutes of play.
The No. 4 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, now 1-1 at this event, played at a very high level to improve his ATP HeadToHead record with the American to 2-0. This year he had beaten him, and also in straight sets, at the ATP Masters 1000 in Indian Wells.
This Tuesday he outclassed him without facing breakout opportunities. Alcaraz didn't even get to 40/40 in any of his eight service games. For something he obtained a very high 85% of points won with his first serve. This allowed him to exert more pressure on the return, with which he managed to convert four of the seven break points he generated.
This victory comes at the best time for his confidence, since he had just lost in the premiere in Montreal against Tommy Paul and despite having had match points. “I am very happy with my performance today,” said the Murcian after the match, his No.51 of the year.
“One goal in coming here was to take the pressure off myself, enjoy myself, play tennis and now try to be relaxed. And in this round I did it, so I'm very happy with it." He now has 16 ATP Masters 1000 wins in 2022, making him co-leader for wins at this level on the season alongside Hubert Hurkacz, who will play his first match of the tournament later in the week.
Alcaraz will look to reach No. 17 against No. 17 seed Marin Cilic. The Croatian is coming off a 6-4, 6-7(5), 7-5 win over Finn Emiil Ruusuvuori to meet for the third time with Alcaraz. The record between the two is 1-1, with the Spaniard winning the last duel played this year in Miami.
Alcaraz continues to learn to manage his new status
Beaten in Montreal by Tommy Paul, Carlos Alcaraz reassured himself against Mackenzie McDonald (6-3, 6-2) in Cincinnati. The young world number 4 continues to learn to manage his new status.
“I am very happy with my performance today. One of the goals of this tournament is to manage the pressure, to enjoy like I did at the start of the season and last year. For that, I have to be relaxed, I was during this match.
The court is fast and the ball slips a lot, these are difficult conditions, but I try to be focused on my shots and to be aggressive, that's all”, explained Carlitos, opposed to the experienced Marin Cilic in the round of 16.