"I mean it. I can't believe it. It's been a great week for me playing a great level, first time I've been on clay in a long time," Spain's Carlos Alcaraz had explained his excitement on courtside after winning the Rio Open against Diego Schwartzman 6-4, 6-2.
As teens go he's in good company with the upcoming WTA and ATP players gearing for higher ranks and quality. Last year in July, despite being ranked no. 406 on the ATP tour, he scored big when he defeated veteran Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas at the Croatia Open in straight sets.
The next round was a blockbuster for the teen as he was up against another veteran Richard Gasquet in the final and won over him in straight sets capturing the Croatia Open title. He had felt his performances were just the start of something bigger than he could explain and it was.
The road to Rio for Alcaraz turned out to be a huge deal as he played aggressively with dynamic strategies to defeat his iconic opponents. He would defat Frederico Delbonis, Matteo Berrettini, Fabio Fognini and the the Argentine Diego Schwartzman for the final.
Alcaraz's ranking is now no. 20 and he feels like it's a dreamworld he's in. At 18, he has already accumulated two ATP titles in his short three year career, the youngest title holder in history. The idea he understands is to stay strong and consistent and he explains on "Trying to be aggressive all the time with the forehand, backhand..." Carlos Alcaraz has built up an excellent performance level in the past four months to be able to go deep in tournaments and win titles.
Since the Spring at Indian Wells he was shocked to defuse Andy Murray's game and won over Italy's Jannik Sinner at the paris Masters. He had also tackled the improving Sebastian Korda at the Next Gen ATP Finals. The 18-year-old Spaniard is a difficult player to grind out a win from and had to withdraw from the ATP 500 Mexican Open citing exhaustion. He is overjoyed through on his win but admits playing the Rio Open that "It's been a tough week."
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