Alcaraz: “It’ll be incredible to be No.1 at Roland-Garros”
“I wouldn’t have believed it a few years ago,” said the Murcian after beating Albert Ramos in the second round in Rome.
It’s been quite a weekend for Carlos Alcaraz who emerged victorious in his debut outing at the Masters 1000 in Rome and in doing so, knocked Novak Djokovic off the top of the ATP ranking. The Murcian defeated compatriot Albert Ramos (6-4, 6-1) in what he considered to be awkward conditions out on centre court. “The first round is very hard. I have to adapt very quickly and the conditions were not easy with the rain, the wind... It was difficult not knowing if I was going to play or not,” Alcaraz explained. The match, which was due to start no later than 1 p.m. ended up being postponed for more than three hours due to a downpour in the Italian capital.
“The first games are never easy and Albert is a great player who made things very difficult for me. I am very happy to go through to the next round and I’m pleased with the level that I showed towards the end of the game,” added the 20-year-old from El Palmar in the post-match interview.
The win allowed him to reclaim top spot in the ATP ranking - a position that he will maintain at least until Roland-Garros in a couple of weeks’ time. “It will be incredible to be number one at Roland-Garros and I wouldn’t have believed it if you told me a few years ago. It doesn’t change much for me, I just focus on the tournament, the matches and the game. It’s something I try not to think about too much, but it’s kind of amazing,” he said.
“I’ve grown a lot in the last year. I have more experience, I’ve played big games, I’m more mature. I would say that in just one year I am a totally different player. I read matches better now,” explained Carlitos when asked what has changed in him since his previous assault on the top of world tennis.
After consummating the victory, Alcaraz wrote a message in Italian on a camera lens: “Forza Roma” with reference to Jose Mourinho’s side who are in action against Bologna tomorrow. Asked about the message, he confessed that he follows “some Roma games” because he has “a friend” who plays for the Giallorossi (most likely Paulo Dybala, with whom he had a virtual meeting through the ATP during the pandemic).
As for how he coped during the long delay when rain stopped play, he explained, “I handled it okay. I kept calm, I watched a few videos. Earlier, I was watching MotoGP with my coach (Juan Carlos Ferrero) and a friend”.