By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Tuesday May 31, 2022
A tough defeat at the hands of Alexander Zverev will not diminish the spirit of rising spirit Carlos Alcaraz.
He fell to the German, 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(7), on Tuesday, and failed to convert a set point in the fourth-set tiebreaker, but comes away with his head held high.
More: Zverev Denies Alcaraz Dream
“I would say I finished the match playing better,” Alcaraz said. “I leave the court, leave the tournament with the head very high. I fight until the last ball. I fought until the last second of the match, and I’m proud of it.”
The Spaniard, who turned 19 on May 5, has only played six Grand Slam main draws, and already reached two quarterfinals. He told reporters that he likes the best-of-five set format, because it gives him time to work his way out of trouble.
“I would say the Grand Slams, the difference between the other tournaments and a Grand Slam, you have time to come back,” Alcaraz said. “But at the same time is tougher, because is tough to keep the focus, keep the level during three, four, five hours in a Grand Slam. I would say that’s the difference.”
There is disappointment, and Alcaraz says he wants to work on starting faster at the Slams, especially against top players.
“I have to take the lesson today,” Alcaraz said. “It was a tough match and close match I think. I could say I didn’t start well, and in this level, quarterfinal of a Grand Slam, you are playing against the best players in the world, so you have to start the match better than I did today.
— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) May 31, 2022
Despite the difficult loss, Alcaraz’s belief is intact. He talks like a man that knows his time is coming.
“I have to take the lesson,” he said. “I mean, I have to improve to the next Grand Slam or next matches. But I would say I’m not far away to reach a semifinal or be able to win a Grand Slam. Just take the lesson, let’s say, in these kind of matches. I would say I have the level, I have the confidence to win a Grand Slam or pass through to the semifinal next time.”
The 19-year-old still managed to enjoy himself thoroughly in Paris. He won his first match at Roland-Garros and proceeded to his second Grand Slam quarter-final. Not bad at all.
“I enjoyed a lot, even I lost,” he said. “Playing in front of such a great crowd, playing in these kind of tournaments, this kind of court, is amazing for me.
“I train for these moments. I mean, I fight with the best player in the world, fight for a ticket of final of a Grand Slam for me, so it’s amazing. That’s why I’m training, that’s why I’m playing tennis, to keep dreaming, to have chances to be in the best tournaments in the world.”