Mutua Madrid Open

Madrid, Spain

Sunday, 8 May 2022

Carlos Alcaraz

Press Conference

C. ALCARAZ/A. Zverev

6-3, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions in Spanish.

Q. Congratulations for your victory. I want to ask you, what were you talking about on court that it's been a tough start of the day, but still you have been able to pull out the match. What has happened to you exactly this morning?

CARLOS ALCARAZ: Well, this morning, due to the fall that I had with Rafa, the ankle, I had a problem, and this morning it was a little more swollen. And also I had a blister in my feet which was a little bit infected, and it's been a little bit tough start of the day.

It was difficult for me to walk, but I think that after a while with my team, with the physio, with the doctor, we have managed to fix it, you know, to do something to be able to be 100% today.

Q. During many, many years, a lot of little kids like you have been inspired by Rafa. They wanted to be Rafa. I'm sure that today many kids that have been watching you, they want to be Carlos Alcaraz. What will you tell them?

CARLOS ALCARAZ: Well, to those little kids I will tell them that they just have to enjoy themselves. If they want to be tennis players, they just have to enjoy the moment. They have to enjoy playing tennis, not to make it an obligation for them.

You know, my family has always told me, first of all, to study. First you have to study, and after that, of course you can do all kinds of sports. When you're 9 or 10 years old, you cannot only be a professional tennis player and want to be a professional player, you have to play a lot of sports. Me, myself, I played a lot of sports, but the first thing is to enjoy themselves, that it's not something forced, that they ask their parents, Look, I want to go play tennis, I really enjoy playing tennis, because that's the most important things is they enjoy themselves with whatever they do.

Q. It's 10 straight triumphs, Barcelona, Madrid. Do you consider that right now, based on the numbers and statistics, that you are the tennis player to beat in the clay season?

CARLOS ALCARAZ: Well, I consider myself a player that's playing very well. You know, as the numbers speak by themselves, I think that I'm doing it quite well on clay right now.

As I said in Monte-Carlo, you learn a lot from defeats. I think this is a clear example. I lost in the first round of Monte-Carlo, and I learned from that defeat and I started to train for Barcelona and Madrid. I consider that I am playing very, very well, and I think that I am a tough opponent for the other players (smiling).

Q. Yesterday I asked you a question that Zverev answered the question, saying that you're the best player in the world right now. I asked you last Saturday. I also asked you today. Who is the best player of the world right now?

CARLOS ALCARAZ: I'm going to answer you the same thing, so I'm not going to change my answer. Djokovic is No. 1 in the ranking. You know, because I have won Barcelona, and I have beaten Djokovic and Rafa yesterday in Madrid, I don't consider myself the best player in the world.

I also think that tomorrow I'm going to be 6th, so I still have five players in front of me to be the best one.

Q. Have you thought about not playing in Rome?

CARLOS ALCARAZ: Yes, I thought about it. I think that, you know, given the state of my feet and my ankle, I am really excited for fighting for a Grand Slam. I think that it's better to rest, to recover my ankle, recover my feet, to be in Paris at 100%.

Q. This year you have won Miami, semis at Indian Wells. When you were a kid, did you play more on clay or on hard court or you don't care? Because Juan Carlos Ferrero is a specialist on clay.

CARLOS ALCARAZ: Yeah, when I was small I was raised on clay. I was raised on clay. My club, we only had clay. When I was growing up and playing more tournaments in fast courts, they built a fast court before I moved to the academy, but I was raised myself on clay.

Q. You have beaten Zverev, Nadal, Djokovic. They are completely different players. You play really well against all of them. You do everything well on court. If you had to put more emphasis in some of your shots, which is the one that you would think you have to improve more?

CARLOS ALCARAZ: Well, I think that I have to improve everything still. I have always said that you can improve everything. You never reach a limit. Look at Rafa, Djokovic, Federer, all of them improve and they have things to improve. That's why they are so good, and that's why they are so much time up there, because they don't stop. They keep on working and improving.

That's what I want to do. I want to keep on progressing. I have really good shots. I don't say that I don't have them, but I know that I can improve them and they can be even better.

Q. An hour ago, all your family was on court. Uncles, grandma, grandparents, mom. What does family mean to you?

CARLOS ALCARAZ: Well, I am a very familial kid. I have been a kid that whenever I can, I'd rather be at home than somewhere else. For me to celebrate this title, which is very special, with my family, with my cousins, uncles, grandparents, all my family in general, it's very, very special.

Q. Juan Carlos Ferrero has told us two years and a week ago you trained against him and you hardly had any strength to be able to return his balls. Are you conscious on what you have achieved and what you are doing? Look at how many of us are here.

CARLOS ALCARAZ: Yeah, I know that I am a very competitive kid. I compete whenever I play anything. With Juanqui, for example, we play everything, golf, Petanca, whatever I play with Juanqui.

I also emphasize that on the court I'm a very competitive guy. I don't like to lose. I always try to look for some trick or something to be able to win and I think that's something that characterizes me, one of my key aspects that I try to win.

Right now I'm trying to just assimilate everything that I am going through.

Q. This Roland Garros probably is going to be the first Grand Slam that you going to reach as favorite. I don't know as principal favorite but one of the favorites, for sure. How are you going to manage that? How do you imagine that tournament?

CARLOS ALCARAZ: Well, I think that Roland Garros is special for me because of the fact that last year it was the first Grand Slam that I was able to make it to the third round, winning good matches, playing at a good level.

This year, as you have just said, I think that people are going to think that I'm going to be one of the favorites to win Roland Garros, but I always said that I have a different view. I don't have it as tension; I have it as a motivation. I really look forward to going to Paris, to fighting for the Grand Slam, and I am really looking forward to show my great level in a Grand Slam too.

Q. One very basic question: Did you imagine this when you were playing the small circuit of Murcia? Did you think you were going to reach this?

CARLOS ALCARAZ: Sincerely, no, not at all. I remember first time when I was playing, when I was small in Murcia, and of course I didn't imagine at that moment that I was going to be able to reach this level, to be here right now, champion of the Mutua Madrid Open.

I remember that my life was to compete back in the day. I also liked to train a lot, and I am still a kid that likes to compete more than to train.

But back in the day, I only liked to play. That's the truth (smiling).

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. Congrats for the champion title. "Carlos Alcaraz gets the biggest clay title of his career for now." This is something that was posted by official Roland Garros Web page in social media. What are your thoughts about it?

CARLOS ALCARAZ: Well, it means a lot to me to get this title, Masters 1000 here in Madrid on clay. So it makes me a lot of confidence right now to go to Roland Garros with all the power to go for a title in, yeah, in Paris.

Q. There are plenty of players who have won Masters titles, but the way you did it is something else. You beat Rafa, you beat Novak, you beat Zverev, three top-5 players. Is that an additional motivation for you?

CARLOS ALCARAZ: Yes, of course. I saw that the last time that a player beat the top four players in a row in three matches was Nalbandian in 2007. Yeah, of course it have makes me a lot of confidence right now with those wins.

I mean, Djokovic, Rafa, good matches, Zverev in amazing match from my side. Yeah, for me it's amazing (smiling).

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
120093-1-1145 2022-05-08 20:39:00 GMT

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