Teen Spanish star Carlos Alcaraz says the best thing about being considered the future of Grand Slam tennis is that he is realizing a “dream that is not for everyone”.
The 19-year-old defeated Juan Ignacio Landero of Argentina’s Lucky 6-4, 6-2, 6-0 in the second round of the French Open on Sunday.
To become only the eighth teenager to win the men’s major title, he has suggested ending the dominance of 13-time Roland Garros champion Rafael Nadal and two-time winner Novak Djokovic.
“I would say the best thing about being Carlos right now is that I have reached my dream,” said Alcaraz, who reached the third round in Paris a year ago in his main draw as a qualifier.
“I’m really happy playing tennis, playing this kind of tournament, this kind of stadium is not for everyone, so I would say that’s the best thing.”
The sixth-seeded will play compatriot Albert Ramos-Vinolas for a place in the final 32.
“I have been watching this tournament for many years. It’s a unique place to play and I dream of playing here, “said Alcaraz.
He broke Londaro in the 10th game of a tight opening set, then escaped the match with five more breaks in the next two sets at Court Philippe Chatterjee.
Alcaraj, ranked 97th last year, has won four tour-leading titles this season, three in Rio, Barcelona and Madrid, where he beat Nadal, Djokovic and Alexander Zverev to lift the trophy.
Despite his rapid ascent, Alcaraz is doing its best to focus on the basics and keep all extra attention aside.
“I’m just trying to focus on tournaments and matches,” he said.
“(Including) everyone is talking about you, just focus on what I need to improve, what I need to do in matches, what I need to do every day to get ready for the tournament.”
Alcaraz became the quarter-finalist of the youngest US Open of the Open era last September and is the only player to have knocked Nadal and Djokovic out of the same clay tournament.
He was just two years old when Nadal won his first Roland Garros title in 2005, and mentioned that he wanted to follow the pattern of his statue.
“I always say that if you want to be the best player in the world, you have to improve every day, which is not the case with me,” said Alcaraz.
“But for example, Rafa says every day that he always improves every day. I would say I have to improve everything little by little.
“You can improve everything every day, you know. And I’ll tell you everything. I have to improve everything.”
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