Alcaraz “not feeling like a favorite” in Barcelona
The Spanish superstar returns to competition after missing the Monte Carlo tournament due to the efforts made in Indian Wells and Miami.
Without Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal featuring in the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell, it’s undeniable that all the eyes, or almost all of them, are on the new tennis star, Carlos Alcaraz.
The world No. 2 will try to defend his title in the Catalan capital after taking a break from the competition since his last appearances in Miami and Indian Wells.
The current US Open winner has never retained titles, so that could be an extra challenge for the Murcia native this week.
“We’ll be thinking about everything, apart from defending the title. Barcelona is a place I love playing in, where I have amazing memories, not just from last year, but also from playing when I was young. I’m going to try and avoid that pressure to defend the title”, he said at the pre-tournament presser.
Alcaraz doesn’t consider himself a favorite
Despite the absences of top players, the 19-year-old player doesn’t consider himself a favorite to lift the trophy.
“The absences don’t make me feel like more of a favorite. Every match is huge and every player in the draw can beat me. I have to stay focused and play my best in every match. I don’t feel like a favorite at all, every match is huge, and I have to play as well as possible”, he stated.
Although Djokovic and Nadal won’t feature at the Trofeo Conde de Godó, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Casper Ruud and Jannik Sinner will compete for the title.
Despite their young age, Alcaraz and Sinner have already had amazing battles in clay and hard courts and Barcelona could be the scenario of another great match.
“Whenever we play, I think it’s enjoyable to watch and they are great matches. I hope to have a rivalry with Jannik like the ones between great players like Rafa, Djokovic, and Federer. Also, we get on well off-court”, Alcaraz said.
It will be interesting to see how Alcaraz adapts to the new surface again this season after winning Indian Wells and reaching the semis in Miami, although he already won a title on clay at the beginning of the year in Buenos Aires and lost the Rio de Janeiro final after getting injured.