Carlos Alcaraz wins in Madrid for 4th title of the year
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When Carlos Alcaraz played his first Madrid Open as an 18-year-old, his goal was to gain experience and learn from the top players.
Just a year later, Alcaraz already feels he is among the best.
The Spanish teen sensation spent another impressive week, winning a straight set against Alexander Zaverev to win the Madrid Open on Sunday, becoming the second-youngest player to win two Masters 1000 titles.
After his comfortable 6-3, 6-1 victory over Zverev, his ideal Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals and top-seeded Novak Djokovic in the semifinals.
“Last year I went through this experience for the first time, playing against the best players, playing in the Masters 1000, and I learned a lot,” said Alcaraz. “Now it’s different. I go to court knowing I can win, with the confidence that I can win at any moment.”
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Alcaraj is the youngest winner of Madrid and the second youngest to win two Masters 1000 trophies since Nadal won Monte Carlo and Rome in 2005 as an 18-year-old. Alcaraz has already become the youngest person to enter the top 10 since Nadal did it in 2005.
“It’s great to lose these players,” said the 19-year-old Alcaraz. “Defeating two of the best players in history and then world number three Zaverev. He’s a great player. I would say this is the best week of my life.”
It was the seventh win in a row against the top-10 players for Alcaraz and the fourth title of the year on his tour. He has won a maximum of 28 wins this season, one more than Stefanos Sitcipas.
Although Alcaraj tried to reduce the hype about whether he was the best player at the moment.
He says Djokovic is number one in the rankings. “It’s not that I won in Barcelona and beat Djokovic and Rafa in Madrid that I would consider myself the best player in the world. Also, I think I will be number 6 tomorrow, so I still have five players in front of me. I have to be the best.”
For Zverev, who was trying to win his second consecutive Madrid title – and third overall – there was no doubt that he was playing the best tennis.
“Right now you are the best player in the world,” Zavrev said before the trophy ceremony and joked about his opponent’s age. “Even though you’re still 5 years old, you’re still beating us all. It’s great for tennis to see that we have a new superstar who’s going to win a lot of Grand Slams, who’s going to be No. 1 and going to win this tournament many times over. “
Alcaraz won his first Masters 1000 tournament in Miami earlier this year. He also won in Rio de Janeiro and Barcelona. The first title of his career came in Umage last year.
Alcaraz’s three defeats this season are against Sebastian Corde in Monte Carlo, Nadal in the Indian Wells and Matteo Beretini in the Australian Open.
After a long three-set win against Nadal and Djokovic, seventh-seeded Alcaraz maintained his high power from the start against Zaverev and “Kaza Magica” was in control throughout the match on center court.
He did not face any break points and converted his eight fours against second-seeded Zaverev. Alcaraz had 11 unforced errors compared to Zaverev’s 25.
“I’m 19, which I think is the key to playing consistently long and tough matches. I’m feeling great physically,” Alcaraz said.
Alcaraz said he was worried about his condition after waking up with an infected blister and a swollen right ankle, which was injured in Friday’s victory over Nadal.
Zaverev criticized the ATP tour for keeping him in a late-night session, saying he was in trouble against Alcaraz after going to bed after 4am the night before. “ATP’s work this week is absolutely disrespectful,” he said.
“Today, obviously, even though I’m fresh, I probably won’t be able to beat Carlos, but it will definitely be a good match,” he said.
Alcaraz said the win was special in Madrid, where he first started watching tennis at a young age.
“Seeing Rafa lift this trophy has given me a lot of strength to work hard right now,” Alcarez said. “It’s a great moment for me. It’s the first tournament I’ve ever seen, so picking up the trophy today is very emotional.”
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