The second-placed Spaniard, who was outside the top 50 in the Pepperstone ATP rankings last August, is targeting a Tour-leading fifth title and third ATP Masters 1000 crown of a dream season on his debut in Canada.
“I grew up so quickly. Being second in a Masters 1000 is incredible and I wasn’t expecting it at the beginning of the year. To be honest, I still can’t believe it at the moment,” Alcaraz said during his pre-tournament press conference on Sunday. “It’s something I wanted earlier in the year when I wanted to be at the top and be one of the favorites to win one of the most important tournaments.”
The 19-year-old who is confronted Thomas Paul or Vasek Pospisil enjoyed a notable rise in his opening game in Quebec. Last month, he became the second youngest player in the 21st century to crack the top five of the Pepperstone ATP rankings, tied only with his compatriot Rafael Nadal reach the landmark faster.
Now in his first hard-court event since his Miami triumph in April, Alcaraz will look to adapt to Montreal conditions having played on his third floor since July. The world No. 4 reached the fourth round on grass Wimbledon last month before reaching back-to-back clay-court finals in Hamburg and Umag, leaving him 42-7 in the season.
“It’s difficult to switch surfaces quickly. In two months I’ve played on three surfaces and it’s tough. But I see myself as a player who gets used to a new surface very quickly,” said Alcaraz. “The transition from clay to hard is tough, but I’ve been working specifically to get used to hard court and I came here many days before to get used to this court. [I have been] Playing points and sets with the best players.”
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Alcaraz revealed he has been enjoying his time in Montreal since arriving and was delighted with the support he has received from the fans.
The 2021 Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals Champion, who finishes second in the Pepperstone ATP Race To Turin, is looking forward to competing in front of a crowd on his debut in Canada.
“I felt so much love from the people,” said Alcaraz. “This is unbelievable for me. It’s my first time and I didn’t expect that. There are a lot of people and it’s amazing to have the support and love from the people here.”