Carlos Alcaraz: “I never thought that I would be number 1 so quickly” | ATP Tour

Carlo Alcaraz, still just 18, was a portrait of poise as he won his maiden ATP Masters 1000 title in Miami in March. But when they handed him the phone and he asked Spain’s King Felipe VI. with a few words of congratulations, he lost his composure and collapsed.

A few months later, three days after his 19th birthday, the muscular Spaniard pulled off a monumental run in Madrid. He defeated Countryman and Idol in 4th place Rafael Nadalin the quarterfinals, No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the semifinals and No. 3 Alexander Zverev in the final – for his second Masters 1000 trophy. Afterwards, King Felipe shook his hand and posed for photos with the still troubled boy.

After winning the US OpenThis makes him the youngest man to win a Major since Nadal’s first title Roland Garros In 2005, the newly crowned world number 1 was the king’s guest at the Zarzuela Palace on the outskirts of Madrid. Alcaraz looked and felt better this time. In fact, he appears to be growing into his role as reigning monarch in men’s tennis.

“It was incredible,” Alcaraz said in an interview with ATP Media on Sunday Astana open. “Everyone wants to meet the King of Spain. “It’s crazy when you enter [seeing] all people work. That is much.

“I’ve dreamed all these years I’m probably in a movie.”

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The sequel begins in Kazakhstan, where Alcaraz is the top seed and Tuesday plays Lucky Loser David Gofin in the third game on Center Court at the National Tennis Centre. Goffin was lifted into the main draw by Denmark Holger Rune moved out with an injury to his right knee. Alcaraz defeated Goffin in their only previous meeting 6-3, 6-3 in a second-round match in Melbourne last year.

The phenomenal field in Kazakhstan also includes four other Grand Slam singles champions: Novak Djokovica 21-time Major winner, Stan Wawrinka, Marin Cilic and Daniel Medvedev.

Like many of today’s professional players, Alcaraz dreamed of becoming world No. 1 and first-time Grand Slam champion. On the same day, September 11, he achieved both goals simultaneously. He is the youngest No. 1 player in ATP Tour history, dating back to 1973. And he did it the hard way, becoming only the third man to consecutively win five set games en route to a Grand Slam title; He was on the pitch for almost 24 hours, a full day in the real world.

Hours after the game, he said he “turned off my mind and spent quality time” with members of his team and family. And then he went right back to work. Five days later he played a Davis Cup match in Valencia, Spain. It had only been three weeks since his triumph in New York when he sat down for a meeting in Astana.

“I didn’t have too much time to understand what I’ve achieved US Open‘ said Alcaraz. “Yes, honestly, I feel normal. I feel like I’m the same kid, same guy. Of course it’s great to achieve what I’ve achieved at US Open and [becoming] No. 1 in the world, but I feel the same way. It’s the tennis world – week after week, tournament after tournament.

“You have to focus on your goals and your training.”

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After losing to Canadian Felix Auger-Alliassime, Alcaraz rallied to defeat Soonwoo Kwon from Korea and are helping to send Spain through to the quarterfinals where they face Croatia in Australia next month for a chance to win the Davis Cup title.

When the Pepperstone ATP rankings came out on Monday, not only was Alcaraz on top, but Nadal had moved up to 2nd place. It was the first time in 22 years that two players from the same country were 1-2, as America’s Peter Sampras and Andre Agassi made.

“It means a lot to be part of Spanish history,” said Alcaraz. “For me it’s crazy to have two players at the top.”

His goal, he said, is to finish the year as a No. 1 player.

“I think I said earlier this year that the goal is to be in the top 15 players,” said Alcaraz. “And now I’m number 1. From now until the end of the year I have some good tournaments ahead of me. [My goal] is to do my best in these tournaments.

“I never thought that I would be number 1 so quickly.”

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