Saturday, September 10, 2022

New York, New York, USA

Carlos Alcaraz

Press Conference

C. ALCARAZ/F. Tiafoe

6-7, 6-3, 6-1, 6-7, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Five sets, 4 hours and 19 minutes. Assess your performance tonight.

CARLOS ALCARAZ: It was incredible for me. I think I play great against Frances, who were playing unbelievable, as well, these two weeks. It's an incredible feeling to be in a final, to be able to win this match, 4 hours, 20 minutes.

Again, this incredible feeling for me.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How do you feel physically? What would you say to that young boy from Murcia from three, four years ago?

CARLOS ALCARAZ: I feel great right now. I mean, a little bit tired. But, yeah, I feel good, I feel great. Right now I'm just so, so happy. I thought about a young man like 10 years ago dreaming for this moment right now. Yeah, I'm feeling great.

And the second question, what is it?

Q. What would you say to that kid from Murcia?

CARLOS ALCARAZ: Follow his dream. If you work hard, all the hard work, it pays off. Right now you can see that all the hard work I put every day is paying off right now.

Q. How do you feel about you're still alive for the No. 1 ranking, playing Casper for the ranking?

CARLOS ALCARAZ: Well, it's close. But at the same time is so far away, you know? It's a final of a Grand Slam, fighting for the No. 1 in the world, something that I dream since I was a kid.

I mean, what I have to say? Is final of a Grand Slam. Right now I'm going to enjoy this moment. My first Grand Slam final. I will have time tomorrow to think about it.

Q. Could you talk a little bit about playing tonight in that crowd. Obviously they were very hard for Frances, but you seemed to handle it well. How would you describe the experience?

CARLOS ALCARAZ: It's unbelievable. That I did in Arthur Ashe is amazing.

I would say that 70%, it was from the Frances. But I just hear the 30% remain, you know (smiling)? It was crazy. The night session here in Arthur Ashe in US Open, it's crazy.

Q. If you think back to last year at the US Open, you had some five-setters, in the end you had to retire. This time you're doing it again and again, the late finishes. Talk about what kind physical journey you've gone on in the last 12 months. How are you doing this recovering and bouncing back for each match?

CARLOS ALCARAZ: Well, I would say now I'm more prepared. Last year I just played three Grand Slams before US Open, and I just play, I'm going to say, one match five sets.

Now I've played more matches in five sets, I am more prepared mentally and physically, as you said. Yeah, it was 12 months of working hard in the gym, on the court.

But I would say it's all mental.

Q. After you couldn't make the first match point in the fourth set, what kind of thought goes through your mind? How did you manage to pull yourself together and play strong in the fifth set?

CARLOS ALCARAZ: Honestly at that point I thought, Please finish in this set (smiling).

I mean, it was a tough moment for me, losing that match ball in that way, doing a dropshot that I could finish with a good forehand that I hitting pretty well.

But I knew that I had to stay in the match, to stay calm, to stay playing well. I was playing well. But, yeah, it was a tough fourth set.

I thought it is a new match in the fifth set. I have to stay there playing, playing well, playing my game, and believe. I have to play my best and I could win, you know?

I just thought that I was able to beat Frances in the fifth set.

Q. How well do you know Casper? Have you had many conversations with him? What is your connection with him?

CARLOS ALCARAZ: I played against him twice. I know him very well. We shared a lot of moments in the tournaments. Of course, he's a very nice guy off the court. I talk with him a lot, when we can.

But, yeah, on the court I know him. As I said, I played twice. I beat twice him. I mean, he's playing really, really well. I know that. I will have to show my best.

Q. One of the things that makes the US Open unique are the night matches. You have two of those. Were there matches that you saw growing up that went deep into the night that you remember? Did you think or dream about playing deep into the night?

CARLOS ALCARAZ: Well, yeah, I mean, playing here in US Open is so special, even more in night session. You live something special. Here in the US Open, the crowd is amazing. They love to watch great matches. Of course, the support is something special, you know?

Of course, I remember to see a lot of matches, crazy matches. Yeah, I remember to think that I will live someday that moments when I was a kid watching some great matches.

Q. 19 years ago in 2003, Juan Carlos reached the final and reached No. 1. Has he said anything to you? Have you spoken to him about anything like that?

CARLOS ALCARAZ: Yeah, we talked a lot about it. He beat Agassi in the semifinals to reach the No. 1 in the world here in the US Open. He told me about they prepare for that match.

I going to do the same, that is going for it. No matter what I'm fighting for or what I am, I just going for it and enjoy the moment.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
124541-1-1145 2022-09-10 05:45:00 GMT

ASAP sports

tech 129