US Open: Alcaraz ‘learning’ for assault on New York: ‘Let him worry about his tennis and be the person he was to get here’

US Open: Alcaraz ‘learning’ for assault on New York: ‘Let him worry about his tennis and be the person he was to get here’


The coach of the world number four analyzes his progress on the eve of his debut against Bez.

Carlos Alcaraz, training at Flushing Meadows.JULIAN FINNEYAFP
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Never mind the latest results, which do not correspond to those obtained in the first part of the season: Carlos Alcaraz emerges as one of the main favorites to win the US Open, both for specialists and for an audience that has not forgotten his formidable role a year ago, in which he was his real cover letter among the best.

Then the Spaniard headed to the quarter-finals, having knocked down Stefanos Tsitsipas, seeded third, in the second round. He retired due to injury when he lost to Happy Auger-Also, but, even with just over 18, he left the certainty that it was not a passing phenomenon. He had come to stay, as he confirmed in this successful 2022.

We have high expectations. He wants to have fun and make people have fun. And go as far as possible, his trainer tells this newspaper in a telephone conversation from New York, Jean-Charles Ferrero. The message has not changed, nor has a child who knows how to digest setbacks. On the contrary, he now displays a slightly more tempered speech, the adolescent effervescence attenuated. After remaining in the quarter-finals of Roland Garros (Zverev) and in the round of 16 at Wimbledon (Fisherman), he prefers to talk about breaking his barrier in a Grand Slam tournament.

the last stumbles

To losses in the last clay courts, Hamburg (Musetti) and Umag (Sinner) followed suit in their first match at the Masters 1000 in Montreal, after earning match point against Tommy Pauland elimination in the quarter-finals of the Cincinnati Masters 1000 against Cameron Norrie, a rival he had beaten in his previous three matches, the first of them precisely in the first round of the US Open last year. It wasn’t as fantastic as we would have liked, but the truth is that both players gave a good level, says Ferrero.

We can deduce from this, depending on what happened, that they somehow took the recording. Sinner has two victories against him after his fall last fall at the Masters 1000 of Paris-Bercy. Players are getting to know him better and they are sure to look for alternatives to play against him, but in the same way he is also taking note of how to play them, his manager explains.

Winner of the Masters 1000 in Miami and Madrid and the ATP500 in Barcelona and Rio, in addition to the title won at Umag last year, Alcaraz already knows what winning means. Djokovic Already Nadal, which he left behind on his way to victory at the Mutua Madrid Open. All of this catapulted him to world number four and, due to Alexander Zverev’s absence through injury, he will start as the third seed at the US Open. Getting what you have has extraordinary value. It’s hard to get a good result every day. The important thing is that it continues to develop. There is too much pressure for him, adds Ferrero.

take the pressure

This additional responsibility to which he had felt a stranger weighed on him, according to his own admissions, during the match against Tommy Paul. It’s a new feeling to be up there. Everyone who’s been there has felt it. I talk to him and tell him to worry about his tennis and be the person he has been to get where he is.

Defending the essentials, fully rediscovering the hedonistic nature of his tennis, has been a priority since the start this Tuesday (6:00 p.m., Eurosport) against Sebastien Bez, 37, whom he defeated at the end of last season en route to the title at the Next Generation ATP Finals. The 21-year-old from Buenos Aires won his first title at Estoril in the spring. Charles is fine. I have great confidence in him and in his game. He adapts to the new situation, when all the lights are on him. If it’s not going fantastically, people start talking, but that’s about it, a process of adaptation, Ferrero concludes.

There are five players who can leave New York as number 1: DanielMedvedevdefender of the title and who now wears it; Raphael Nadalfour-time tournament champion; Stefanos Tsitsipas, Casper Ruud and Alcaraz itself. If he succeeds, the Murcian will be the youngest to reach the top of the ATP since the creation of the ranking in 1973. To do so, he would have to win the tournament, after beating Nadal in a hypothetical semi-final.

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