Carlos Alcaraz: 'I Have To Be Relaxed'

‘I have to be relaxed’

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 43rd place thanks to the fact that he beat the 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 overcame it without facing escape 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. That allowed him to exert more pressure on the return, with which he managed to convert four of the seven break points he generated.

This win comes at the best time for his confidence, as he had just lost in the Montreal opener to Tommy Paul and despite having match points. «I’m very happy with my performance today,» said the Murcian after the match, his 51st of the year.

“One goal in coming here was to take the pressure off myself, have fun, play tennis and now try to be relaxed. And this round I did, so I’m very happy with that.» He now has 16 ATP Masters 1000 wins in 2022, making him the 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 victory over Finn Emiil Ruusuvuori to face Alcaraz for the third time. The balance between the two is 1-1, with the Spaniard winning the last duel played this year in Miami.

Alcaraz continues learning to manage his new status

Defeated in Montreal by Tommy Paul, Carlos Alcaraz settled down against Mackenzie McDonald (6-3, 6-2) in Cincinnati. The young number 4 in the world 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 handle the pressure, to enjoy myself like I did at the beginning 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, they are difficult conditions, but I try to be focused on my shots and be aggressive, that’s all”, explained Carlitos, opposite the experienced Marin Cilic in the round of 16.

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