Carlos Alcaraz: 'Nothing has changed from last year except that...'

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Carlos Alcaraz: 'Nothing has changed from last year except that...'

“I am prepared, have the confidence, the level, the physique and the mentality to be able to win a Grand Slam tournament. Maybe not at Roland Garros, but for a Grand Slam this year I see myself prepared. And I'm not afraid to say it”.

After winning his first career Masters 1000 at the Miami Open on April 3, Carlos Alcaraz didn't mince words and spoke of his personal goals with personality and determination. The Spaniard will have his last chance of the year at the US Open, a tournament scheduled from 29 August to 11 September.

The Murcia native reached the quarter-finals at Roland Garros and the round of 16 at Wimbledon losing to Alexander Zverev and Jannik Sinner respectively. In Flushing Meadows, the possible path to the final and the first Grand Slam title will be full of pitfalls and difficult challenges.

Alcaraz has played a large number of tournaments in recent months and has not appeared in his best physical condition at the Masters 1000 in Montreal and Cincinnati. The Spaniard will make his US Open debut against Sebastian Baez and, if he wins, would challenge one between Federico Coria and Tallon Griekspoor in the second round.

If the first two appointments, at least on paper, can be considered accessible; the same cannot be said for the third. In fact, Borna Coric could be waiting for him. The Croatian surprised everyone and went beyond all expectations at the Western & Southern Open, where he won his first 1000 in his career by beating the likes of Rafael Nadal, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Cameron Norrie and Stefanos Tsitsipas.

The favorites to reach the round of 16 in the same portion of the board as Alcaraz will be Marin Cilic and Daniel Evans. The Croatian won the US Open in 2014 and has shown he can perform the best of his tennis at Flushing Meadows.

Alcaraz is confident

Carlos Alcaraz has become a star on the circuit in just a few months, and it was also here in New York last year that his talent burst forth, especially after a titanic match against Tsitsipas. Asked about this new status, the Spaniard does not want to change his attitude.

“Nothing has changed from last year except that I know a few more people. But I'm not going to transform myself, I'm going to stay humble and keep my child's soul,” said Carlos. Asked about his possible semi-final against Rafa, Carlos was clear.

“Of course it would be amazing for me to play a semi-final here against Rafa, but there are big games ahead and I have to get through all of them. Although I think I feel stronger and more prepared than last year because I have more experience in long matches."