US OPEN – Final – Carlos Alcaraz, the joy of playing found at the best time

US OPEN - Final - Carlos Alcaraz, the joy of playing found at the best time
Just before this US Open, we mentioned about Carlos Alcaraz a “mini-growth crisis.” Since his stoppage in the quarter-finals of Roland-Garros against Alexander Zverev, the results of the young Spaniard have remained more than correct, but not up to his first half of the season. Nothing that calls into question the brilliance of his medium or long-term future, but he arrived in New York with less wind in his sails than at Roland-Garros three months earlier. Paradoxically, this is where he hit the nail on the head.

In Cincinnati, Alcaraz hit a low point, not so much tennis as psychologically. In Ohio, where he stopped in the quarter-finals against Cameron Norrie, it was not this defeat, at the end of a very tight match, which prompted Juan Carlos Ferrero to sound the alarm, but the state of mind of his foal. “After Cincinnati, we talked and I told him that I thought he had lost his joy of living on the court a bit, explains the former world number one. He cared too much about numbers, standings, tournaments, and not enough about his game.”

More than 3 hours of struggle and Norrie had the last word: the summary of his victory against Alcaraz

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It’s trueconfirms Carlos Alcaraz. In Montreal and Cincinnati, I had lost the notion of pleasure. I couldn’t smile on the court anymore, which I normally do in every tournament, in every game“For what reason? A simple and well-known phenomenon: pressure. During his pre-tournament press conference in New York, the Murcian explained it without hiding. “In Cincinnati, it was the first time that I failed to manage the pressure, he admitted. I felt the fact of being the second seed in this tournament, of being the world No. 4 and it weighed on me. It’s the first time I feel this pressure and I couldn’t deal with it.”

That was the key, he had to find the pleasure

Before embarking on the battle of Flushing, the first mission for “Carlitos” and his staff was therefore to find a form of appeasement in order to be able to express themselves fully again. “I really came here to enjoy, sues the new Prince of New York. To smile again, to be happy to play tennis. I love to play tennis. I would say if I smile, if I have fun, then I can be at my best, play my best tennis. So I would like to thank Juan Carlos and my team for allowing me to have fun again.”

Passing with your back to the net: another point from elsewhere signed Alcaraz

To help his protege dispel his negative thoughts, in the week leading up to the US Open kicking off, Ferrero turned his playtime workouts: “When we got here, I advised him to go to the net on any ball. Systematically. All week, we tried that in training. That’s how he started to feel a little better on the court. Then he felt very good. That was the key, he had to find the pleasure.”

He managed to manage his stress well.

In fact, we found the Alcaraz for a fortnight from the end of winter and spring, until its consecration on Sunday against Casper Ruud. However, this is probably not the match where he appeared the most fulfilled. Often frustrated and annoyed because he felt he couldn’t produce his best tennis, he sometimes looked like the Alcaraz of Cincinnati. The effect of a first capital grand finale, of course. But ended up getting over it.

Today (Sunday), the challenge was to control your emotions and your nerves, entering the court with the same feelings as for any match. But clearly that wasn’t the case in the beginning, relieves Juan Carlos Ferrero. But in the end, he managed to manage his stress wellWhen asked to sum up the past two weeks in one word, Carlos Alcaraz hesitated. Then: “I would say ‘Happy’. Yes, I would choose that word. If I have the trophy, it’s because I was happy on the court“It’s simple, sometimes, tennis.

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