“I am prepared, I 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 ready. And I’m not afraid to say it.»
After winning the first Masters 1000 of his career at the Miami Open on April 3, Carlos Alcaraz pulled no punches, speaking 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 August 29 to September 11.
The Murcian reached the Roland Garros quarterfinals and the Wimbledon round of 16 losing to Alexander Zverev and Jannik Sinner respectively. At Flushing Meadows, the potential path to the final and first Grand Slam title will be filled with tricky traps and challenges.
Alcaraz has played a host of tournaments in recent months and hasn’t appeared in his best physical shape at the Masters 1000 in Montreal and Cincinnati. The Spaniard will make his US Open debut against Sebastián Báez and, if he wins, would challenge one between Federico Coria and Tallon Griekspoor in the second round.
If the first two dates, at least on paper, can be considered accessible; the same cannot be said of the third. In fact, Borna Coric could be waiting for him. The Croatian surprised everyone and exceeded all expectations at the Western & Southern Open, where he won his first 1,000 of 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 on 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 that he can give the best of his tennis at Flushing Meadows.
Carlos Alcaraz has become a star on the circuit in a few months, and it was also here in New York where his talent exploded last year, especially after a titanic match against Tsitsipas. Asked about this new status, the Spaniard does not want to change his attitude.
“Nothing has changed since last year, except that I know a few more people. But I am not going to transform myself, I am going to remain humble and keep my soul as a child,” Carlos said. Asked about his possible semifinal 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 games.»