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Carlos Alcaraz greets fans at the 2023 Miami Open presented by Itau.

Alcaraz's Passion For F1: 'What Fernando Alonso Is Doing Is Crazy!'

The 19-year-old dedicated Tuesday's win in Miami to the Spanish driver

Editor's Note: This article was translated from ATPTour.com/es.

Fans of both tennis and motor racing are in their element this week in the Hard Rock Stadium.

When entering the venue for the Miami Open presented by Itau, spectators have to pass through a few sectors of the street circuit where the second Miami Grand Prix will take place on 7 May. This partly explains why Carlos Alcaraz has Formula 1 on his mind. However, the main reason is Spanish driver Fernando Alonso.

“33 --> Soon,” wrote Carlitos on the TV camera after his win over Tommy Paul on Tuesday in the last sixteen of the second Masters 1000 of the year. He explained the meaning of the message in his post-match press conference.

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“I’m spurring ‘Fer’ on to see if he can get his 33rd win in Australia,” he said with a smile. “To me it’s crazy what he’s doing at his age. He’s basically in the fight for the Formula 1 World Championship. It’s great to have him there.”

Fernando Alonso claimed his 32nd win at the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix, when Alcaraz had just celebrated his 10th birthday and was still unacquainted with the world of Formula 1. But the Spanish driver has made the podium in the first two races of the year in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. The 41-year-old’s desire for another win is burning as strong as ever.

Alcaraz is sure to be glued to the TV cheering him on. Maybe Alonso’s strong runs will inspire him to claim another ATP Tour title. Just two weeks ago, Alonso finished third at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix on the same day that Alcaraz claimed the BNP Paribas Open and returned to No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings.

“You motivated me for the Indian Wells final! You’re an animal!” Alcaraz wrote on one of Alonso’s Instagram posts.

Alonso, a two-time World Champion (2005, 2006), is responsible for Alcaraz’s recent Formula 1 fever.

“I have to admit that I’ve never been particularly interested in it, but Fernando has made me into a Formula 1 fan,” Alcaraz said. “He’s made me watch races, made me support him. And what better way to support Fernando than with a message on the camera?”

What kind of driver would Alcaraz be if he was competing alongside Alonso? The answer was simple, but emphatic: “I’d be a very aggressive one!” he said smiling. It is not a surprising response from a player who has not dropped a set in his last nine matches and hit 188 winners in Indian Wells.

Alcaraz is currently in the midst of his own race in the United States. While Alonso chases his 33rd win, the 19-year-old is bidding for the ‘Sunshine Double’ (winning in Indian Wells and Miami in the same season). He would be the youngest player to achieve the feat, and the first since Roger Federer in 2017.

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“I try not to think about that, but it’s difficult. It’s something I really want. I want to be one of those few players who have won the ‘Sunshine Double’. So, for me, it would be great to achieve it,” explained the eight-time tour titlist, who will face American Taylor Fritz for the first time on Wednesday for a place in the semi-finals.

Alcaraz is three wins away from being the eighth player on the ATP Tour to win Indian Wells and Miami in the same year since the beginnings of the Masters 1000 category in 1990. He would join Novak Djokovic (2011, 2014-16), Federer (2005-06, 2017), Andre Agassi (2001), Marcelo Ríos (1998), Pete Sampras (1994), Michael Chang (1992) and Jim Courier (1991).

If the Murcia native can win Miami, it could be him that inspires Alonso to victory when the Spanish driver is racing in the same city in a few weeks.

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