Alcaraz on his rivals to beat and his Olympic dream

Carlos Alcaraz will return to the tournament in Buenos Aires, of which he has fond memories. Having become champion last year, the Murcian returns to defend the title and, above all, to regain confidence after his last defeat to Zverev in Australia.

Smile Carlos Alcaraz is back, or at least that’s what he looked like the first time press conference before debut in ATP Buenos Aires 2024. Murcian who has a new hairstyle and is accompanied again Juan Carlos Ferrero off the bench, in the Argentine capital he will face a new challenge: winning the title again (his last victory was in the past Wimbledon, more than six months ago) and, most importantly, to enjoy playing tennis again, leaving behind the breakdowns in communication and those moments when the game became a little more leaden. There are few better places than Buenos Aires, where he had a lot of fun last year and where he had the luxury of talking about his current state of form, the Olympic challenge in 2024 or his career. opponents to defeat currently.

– The reason for his return to Buenos Aires and what he will say to the players who decide to play in Europe this February.

“Last year I came because I had no matches, I couldn’t play in Australia and I hadn’t played for a long time. I liked this tournament, I not only won it, but I have long wanted to come to Buenos Aires. time: Juan Carlos (Ferrero) won here, many Spaniards. Those who came told me that it was a very good tournament. I was able to experience it last year: it was an incredible tournament for me and I wanted to come back this year. “The atmosphere here is special. The energy is special and I wanted to come back. I would advise people who stayed in Europe and didn’t come on this tour to at least try, relive the experience of playing in Buenos Aires or Rio: it’s wonderful and I’m sure that it will not disappoint you.”

– At the moment, how are you doing: Djokovic and Sinner are your most serious rivals now?

“It’s been a great year since I last played here. A lot has happened. My current level is very good, I feel very confident and at a good level. I come from playing good tennis in Australia, the training days I spent on land were very good, I feel very good physically and play tennis at a very high level. And yes, I think so: I think Djokovic and Sinner are the opponents to beat, there’s no doubt about that. , both for me and for everyone. “Zverev also beat me head-to-head and he’s an opponent I really think about, but I really think Djokovic and Sinner are at the top right now.”

– Ongoing injury management

“On a training and program level, I haven’t changed a lot of things, maybe I’ve improved a few little things. As I’ve said many times, off-piste is something very important that later affects the course, which affects your day to everyday life in tennis. This is what I am improving, this is very important: injuries, nutrition, rest… maybe before, which I think is logical, given my age, these were things that eluded me a little and I didn’t “Everything is right, “But little by little we are improving. If I am more organized off the track and do these little things, it will definitely help me avoid injury.”

– How do you push yourself on an emotional level to continue to accomplish great feats?

“I’m a very competitive boy, very ambitious. I always want to win everything (laughs), it makes me keep training at the highest level, keep going to tournaments with a huge desire to get more titles… …seeing Djokovic among the players who are winning titles now is what motivates me to be at the same level as them; speaking also about the Big Three, it motivates me to get closer to them. a boy who dreams big: “I am very ambitious and have set myself the goal of becoming the best in the world and the best in history. This is what motivates me to give 100% every day and go to tournaments to win them. “

– Do you think that Roland Garros is something “postponed” or does it treat all Grand Slam tournaments the same?

“A Grand Slam is a Grand Slam, whether it’s Roland Garros or Australia or whatever… obviously it’s a tournament that I’m very happy to win. Last year I was in the semi-finals, this year I’m hoping to improve on that, but I don’t feel like I “should win it” or that it’s a thorn in my side that I haven’t won it yet. This is a very good tournament, special for all Spaniards and it would be a dream to win it, but for me it is like any other Grand Slam tournament. Okay (laughs).”

– If you had the opportunity to choose between winning Roland Garros or the Olympic title in 2024, what would you choose?

“(Laughs) I would say an Olympic title. For me it is a dream to bring a medal to my country, Spain, and winning gold is one of the greatest things that can happen to you in the world of sport in general. This year, “If you gave me a choice, I would say I would take Olympic gold… although I would have won both, I’m not going to lie to you either (laughs),” said a smiling Alcaraz, who debuts next Wednesday in a tournament he had already won last year. His opponent will emerge from the fight between Peruvian Juan Pablo Varillas and Argentine Camilo Hugo Carabelli.

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