Alcaraz Plan For Pressure



NEW YORK—Pressure is a privilege, Billie Jean King reminds players.

Pressure is persistent when your name is Carlos Alcaraz.

More: Carlos Alcaraz Q&A

The third-seeded Spaniard held a 7-5, 7-5, 2-0 lead over Sebastian Baez when the Argentinian retired from their US Open opener on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

“Well, I’m really happy to get through,” Alcaraz told the media afterward. “I mean, he was really, really tough match with horrible end, but, I mean, it was really tough conditions, very humidity. The heat was pretty tough, so I’m just really happy with the level and be able to play the second round.”


Riding his heavy topspin forehand and an audacious drop shot, Alcaraz stunned the third-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(2), 0-6, 7-6(5) in a coming-of-age US Open third-round conquest last summer.

The Spanish teenager made history as the youngest man to defeat a Top-3 US Open seed since 1973—and the youngest man to reach the round of 16 in Flushing Meadows since a 17-year-old Michael Chang and 18-year-old Pete Sampras did it back in 1989.

A year after his inspired US Open quarterfinal run, Alcaraz returns to New York tied with Rafael Nadal for the ATP lead with four titles on the season. Miami Open champion Alcaraz is the youngest Top 3 seed at the US Open since Nadal (19) was No. 2 in 2005.

Tennis Express

So how is Alcaraz, who reached his second major quarterfinal in Paris, coping with Grand Slam pressure? 

Alcaraz says he’s focusing on the now and trying to enjoy the competition.

“I could say it’s a bit pressure on me, but not trying not to think about it,” Alcaraz said. “Just, I mean, I consider myself not the next. I think I’m No. 4 right now.

“So, yeah, I’m the kind of player that is in the moment, not the next generation or next player. Just I’m fighting with the best players in the world in the best tournaments. So I just trying to enjoy these kind of moments, play in the best, yeah, in the best stadiums in the world. So I just enjoy.”

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