Alcaraz: admits: "Against Sinner I was strong mentally"

The Spaniard analyzed the match he won in 5 sets against his Italian rival, also telling an anecdote about his first 'tournament' in Paris

by Lorenzo Ciotti
Alcaraz: admits: "Against Sinner I was strong mentally"
© Tim Goode / Stringer Getty Images Sport

The difference was made by mental strength, which reached places where athletic fitness could no longer reach. And also from previous experience last season. Carlos Alcaraz must have thought about his successes during the semi-final against Novak Djokovic last year, when cramps and emotional tension ruined his match in the third set. Exactly one year after that tournament, the Spaniard reached the Roland Garros final, beating Jannik Sinner in five sets. The match against the Italian tennis player also proved to be a mental battle, which Alcaraz faced as best he could, taking advantage of the experiences he had on Court Philippe-Chatrier in 2023.

"I kept a positive attitude throughout and I changed from the matches in which I didn't feel well mentally. It was a very complicated match, but at the same time I'm happy to have overcome the obstacles and learned to manage certain moments from situations experienced in the past. I was mentally strong without ever leaving the match. It's a pride to know that I didn't stumble on the same stone twice. It was a very beautiful and complete match," he told at the press conference.

Carlos Alcaraz
Carlos Alcaraz© Dan Istitene / Staff Getty Images Sport

"It is not easy to play a Slam semi-final, especially against Jannik. It requires a greater level of mental, physical and tennis commitment throughout the match. It is not at all easy to express a high level in all three of these aspects, especially on clay, when it's very warm and you lose a lot of energy after each shot. Probably both made more gratuitous mistakes than necessary, but that's tennis. Match similar to Indian Wells? In the first set he showed a better level than me and I didn't play as I should have. When I fell behind, I thought about the Indian Wells semi-final. It reminded me a lot of that match," he added.

"As a child I only came to Roland Garros once when I was 11 or 12 years old, I had to play in a tournament that was held under the Eiffel Tower. It was a very beautiful moment in which I was able to meet many players, I met Holger Rune and had an international tennis experience. When I came home after school, I immediately turned on the TV to watch the games. Roland Garros is a special tournament for me that I have followed since I was a child. Spanish tennis players have been very successful in Paris: Rafael Nadal and other players who are used to leaving their mark," revealed Alcaraz.

Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz
Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz© Dan Istitene / Staff Getty Images Sport

"There's a small step missing, which is actually one of the most complicated: winning the final. There's a phrase that I often repeat to myself: Finals shouldn't be played, but won. I imagine myself with the cup, but it's still a long journey because I think the final will be very complicated. I never thought that the one with Sinner would be an early ending. Sunday will be very tough regardless of the opponent. Tactically I will have to play very well if I want to win. Today is a great victory, but we cannot talk about an early final," analyzed Carlitos.