Times Square is used to bright lights. But this Monday, it’s a solar kid who took all the light when he posted himself on the most famous place in the world with his US Open trophy under his arm. Tradition obliges, Carlos Alcaraz posed for the photo before granting interviews to numerous media the day after his first Major title and the acquisition of his place as world number one. “Honestly, I can’t believe I’m world No. 1, I have a Grand Slam trophy sitting next to me. When I woke up I couldn’t believe it“, he explains however at The Team.
But as Juan Carlos Ferrero hoped after his victory, this American coronation must represent the beginning of a story, not the fulfillment of a career. At 19, Carlos Alcaraz has life ahead of him and ambitions in shambles. Faithful to the answers he gave so far before entering the circle of Major winners, the Spaniard did not try to quantify his objectives. “I don’t want to set limits. I want to remain world No. 1 for long weeks, years I hope. I want to play to win tournaments. I just hope the US Open is the first and many will follow“, he still slipped to the French daily.
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So ambitions but also dreams. One of which he hopes to be able to accomplish soon: “My biggest dream now? Play against Roger Federerhe explained to Sports. But I think that, now, I have little chance to play against him even if it would be something that I would like“. Moreover, if Alcaraz has opened its Major counter, it has an avowed objective for 2023: to do it with even more panache, in particular by dismissing a member of the Big Three on its way. “Another dream would be to beat one of the three in a Grand Slamhe continues. I always said that to be the best, you have to beat the best“. An enticing prospect which should not, however, hide his immense admiration for Nadal.
Asked if he hoped that his compatriot would remain stuck at 23 Majors to hope to catch up with him one day, Alcaraz dismissed this option: “No, no, absolutely not. I will always be proud to see Rafa win Grand Slams. So, obviously, if by chance I lose in a Grand Slam, you know that I will be the first supporter for him to win. I will always be alongside a Spaniard if that is the case. But honestly, I just won a Grand Slam, I don’t feel closer to Nadal’s record. For now, I’m going to think about a second title, which few players have managed to achieve. For now, that’s the only goal I have.“.
Anyone who motivated themselves by watching 300 or Gladiator the day before their marathon matches in the second week now enters a new dimension. World number one, he knows that the expectations concerning him will now be different. But, promise, he wants keep an idea in mind : “I have never played in the skin of the world No. 1 yethe recalls. I don’t know what pressure I will feel, if it will be heavy or easy to manage. But I don’t want to change anything in the way I played this tournament and how I have been playing tennis since I was little. With a smile and fun on the court. I’ll try to keep it and take the pressure off“.
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