Profitable a Grand Slam at 19 years of age and turning into the No. 1 within the Pepperstone ATP Rankings inevitably brings with it the impression that Carlos Alcaraz is a prodigal expertise, a participant with a God-given present for tennis. Nonetheless, the Spaniard is fast to distance himself from labels of such magnitude.
“I’m not particular, and no one stated I used to be going to be one of the best,” Alcaraz stated. “I’ve labored for it.”
In an interview from New York, the youngest World No. 1 within the historical past of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings reveals the particular person hiding behind the untimely success of his fledgling skilled profession.
Dwelling The Dream: How Carlos Alcaraz Hit No. 1 At 19
You’ve stated many occasions that your dream was to be the No. 1. Is there something left that excites you?
Taking part in towards Federer would excite me and beating a ‘Huge Three’ participant in a Grand Slam. I’ve all the time stated that to be able to be one of the best, you need to beat one of the best.
In an interview a number of years in the past you denied being particular. Now you might be breaking all of the data for precocity. Do you stand by that assertion or are you beginning to suppose you do have one thing particular?
My reply is similar. No person items you something, I imagine. You don’t simply click on your fingers and have the world at your toes. It’s important to work at issues. I believe what I’ve achieved, profitable a Grand Slam and being No. 1 on the planet, is due to the work I’ve been doing with my staff for a really very long time.
It hasn’t been a mattress of roses, I’ve needed to undergo and undergo unhealthy occasions to get right here. I’m not particular, and no one stated I used to be going to be one of the best, I’ve labored for it.
You all the time discuss your staff, household, however what share of this success is said to your work on the psychological facet?
I’ve been working with a psychologist for 2 or three seasons, with Isabel Balaguer. She’s a terrific skilled, one of many principal causes I’m able to be No. 1 on the planet at the moment. I’ve improved a lot because of her.
Having a psychological coach is necessary as tennis is demanding week after week and through a complete 12 months you need to be recent mentally, you need to address the strain, with everybody watching you and it’s necessary to have the ability to deal with that. With out a psychologist, I wouldn’t say it’s not possible as a result of nothing is, however it will be far harder.
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Picture Credit score: Julian Finney/Getty Photographs
What instruments has she given you?
We speak, she offers me recommendation in sure conditions: ‘It’s important to do that, you need to try this’. Issues that assistance on courtroom, she offers me quite a lot of instruments.
Additionally to take care of journalists or individuals?
No, not that side. I’m myself. She doesn’t give me instruments for that. It’s extra work on courtroom, how you can deal with issues. Additionally accepting that folks recognise you, recommendation on how to deal with these conditions.
Have you ever integrated new routines?
I’ve bolstered what I had, all the time bettering, incorporating them in a means that’s extra pure for me.
What issues do you all the time do?
Earlier than matches I don’t have a particular routine, I do my heat up, the place I all the time do the identical, I attempt to all the time go to the identical place with my staff. If I really feel like listening to music, I do, in any other case I don’t. Within the match, I’ve some superstitions with towels, taking 4 balls, bouncing them 5 occasions, the bottles all the time neatly organized, all the time consuming first from one, a chew of my power bar all the time earlier than the banana… [laughs].
What’s a day in your life like exterior of tennis?
Actually, I’m a really fundamental particular person and that’s what I get pleasure from essentially the most, being with 5 – 6 associates sitting on a bench, in a automotive or a home, speaking peacefully, laughing, telling anecdotes, it makes me pleased.
Everybody describes you as a participant with no worry on courtroom. What’s Carlos Alcaraz afraid of?
Actually, I’m afraid of failure. That’s most likely one in every of my fears. Letting lots of people down.
Failure in what sense?
Not being as much as their expectations. Though I’ve gained a Grand Slam or now I’m No. 1 on the planet, most likely there can be tournaments through which there are expectations and I can’t meet them. Above all, letting down the individuals round me. By way of everybody else, there are lots of people who suppose and have opinions, however I’m speaking about these which are near me. That’s the factor I’m most afraid of.
And off the courtroom?
I’d say the darkish. I’m not a fan of horror movies both. I’m afraid of a number of issues.
Nadal has the document with 22 Grand Slams. You’ve already bought your first…
I’ll all the time be proud when Rafa wins Grand Slams and clearly if I lose at a Grand Slam, I’ll all the time be supporting a Spaniard. I’ve gained one, I don’t really feel nearer, I’ve bought 21 to go. For now, I’m going to consider attempting to get the second, which only a few individuals have managed, that’s my aim.
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