French Open: ‘Dream Chasers’ Carlos Alcaraz reaches second round
23 May 2022 | 08:32 | Football
Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz celebrates following their win over Argentina’s Juan Ignacio Londero at the end of their men’s singles match on the first day of the Roland-Garros Open tennis tournament at the Philippe-Chatrier Court in Paris on May 22 2022. (Photo by Anne-Christine POUJOULAT/AFP)
Spanish teen star Carlos Alcaraz said the best thing about being considered the future of Grand Slam tennis is that he is realizing a “dream that’s not for everyone”.
The 19-year-old beat lucky Argentine loser Juan Ignacio Londero 6-4, 6-2, 6-0 to advance to the second round of Sunday’s French Open.
Bidding to become the eighth teenager to win a major men’s title, he is tipped to end the dominance of 13-time Roland Garros champion Rafael Nadal and two-time winner Novak Djokovic.
“I can say that the best thing about being Carlos right now is that I am achieving my dream,” said Alcaraz, who reached the third round in Paris a year ago on his main debut in the first round. type.
“I’m really happy with playing tennis, playing tournaments like this, this kind of stadium, not for everyone, so I can say that’s for the best.”
The sixth seed will face compatriot Albert Ramos-Vinolas for a place in the round of 32.
“I have been watching this tournament for many years. It’s a unique place to play and I’ve been dreaming of playing here,” said Alcaraz.
He cracked Londero in the 10th game of the tight opening set, then ended the match by breaking five more times in the next two sets on Court Philippe Chatrier.
Alcaraz, who was ranked 97th this time last year, has won four league-leading titles this season, three coming on clay in Rio, Barcelona and Madrid, where he beat Nadal, Djokovic and Alexander Zverev to lift the trophy.
Despite his rapid rise, Alcaraz is trying his best to focus on the basics and put all the attention he’s receiving to one side.
“I’m trying to focus on the tournaments, the matches,” he said.
“(With) people talking about you, just focus on what I have to improve on, what I have to do in games, what I have to do every day to be ready for the tournament.”
Alcaraz became the youngest player to reach the US Open quarterfinals of the Open Era last September, and the only player to knock out Nadal and Djokovic in the same clay tournament.
He was just two years old when Nadal won his first Roland Garros title in 2005, and sees his idol approach as one he plans to follow.
“I always say you have to improve every day if you are the best player in the world, which is not in my case,” Alcaraz said.
“But for example, Rafa says every day that he is improving every day. I would say I have to improve things a bit.
“You can improve things every day, you know. And I will say everything. I have to improve things.”
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