Carlos Alcaraz: “I repeated to myself that I am a bull”
The Spaniard, after securing a place in the Madrid final, got to celebrate his 20th birthday on court with the fans.
It is becoming customary for Carlos Alcaraz to mark his birthday by participating in the Caja Mágica in the Spanish capital, and for the second consecutive year, the Murcian prodigy has celebrated the occasion with a victory. Today, Carlitos cemented his place in the final of the Mutua Madrid Open by defeating the Croatian Borna Coric.
Carlos Alcaraz: birthday and Madrid final berth
Amidst the clay of the Manolo Santana court, he blew out the candles on a grand cake that was presented to him to commemorate his 20th birthday.
Here’s what the young superstar had to say on the Madrid centre court after the win.
A message to the public: “What can I say, it’s incredible to celebrate my 20th birthday like this, with you all. I turned 18 against Rafa, 19 beating Norrie, and my 20th here going to the final. Every year is super special, and not because I win the matches, but because you make it special.”
On today’s opponent: “Coric is a very tough player, he showed himself throughout the game and especially at the beginning. I had to be focused, we knew this was going to be a war, play 10 balls per point. There was a time when I have repeated to myself what I said at the US Open, that I am a bull and that I could do it. This helped me. I’m very happy with the level I’ve shown throughout the game, without ups and downs and with very high concentration.”
On his preparation: “If you’re not mentally prepared, it doesn’t matter physically, you have to be aware that you can and must keep up. It may be that I’m 20 years old, so today it was hard for me to get out of bed a bit [laughing].”
On the height of Madrid courts: “Every week we have different conditions. In Madrid you need more days than in other places to adapt to the height. In other tournaments perhaps you play more comfortably at waist level, here you have to play more or less at head height, and you have to know how to play with it. These are difficult conditions, but I like to play here, I’ve been here since I was 12 to play tournaments in Madrid and I’ve always been good at it. I’m very fond of Madrid.”
On what he does after the game: “We do our usual routine, we go on the bike to spend 15 minutes and talk about the game, about what I did wrong and what I did well, more about what I did wrong for improve it for the next game. We always make jokes and laugh, they tell me that I’ve been more tense than necessary and I tell them ‘calm down, guys’... Joking, just like me, but this time is concentration to recover for the next game.”
The top-seed now awaits the winner of the other semi between qualifier Aslan Karatsev and Jan-Lennard Struff for the Sunday showdown.