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Carlos Alcaraz sits second in the ATP Race To Turin behind countryman Rafael Nadal.

Alcaraz Enjoying Success, But ‘Will Always Be The Same Person’

Spaniard faces #NextGenATP clash with Korda in Monte-Carlo opener

At just 18-years-old and with the world at his feet, Carlos Alcaraz remains determined to take everything in his stride.

“Sometimes it is difficult, but I am trying to make it easy,” said Alcaraz in his pre-tournament interview as he prepares for his debut at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters. “Doing everything for the first time, I am trying my best, trying to manage the nerves of the first time well.”

The Spaniard certainly showed few signs of being overwhelmed at the Miami Open presented by Itau as he charged to a maiden ATP Masters 1000 title in Florida, defeating Casper Ruud in straight sets in the final to become the youngest champion in the tournament’s 37-year history.

The fast-paced nature of life on Tour meant there was precious little time between his whirlwind Miami success and the beginning of his clay-court preparations, but Alcaraz was still able to return to Spain to share the celebrations with those closest to him.

“It was really special for me,” said Alcaraz. “I had time to celebrate with my friends and family at home for a couple of days, but now it is time to focus on the clay, and the first Masters 1000 in Monte-Carlo.”

Despite having already ticked off so many on-court milestones in his young career, it is easy to forget that the Spaniard is still a relative newcomer to the Tour. Alcaraz is still excited by the off-court novelties that accompany playing at the biggest events, and the stunning coastal backdrop to the Monte-Carlo Country Club is no exception.

“It’s pretty amazing, this place,” said Alcaraz. “Playing here is so good. Yesterday was my first training and beforehand I took a photo for the view, the sea, and yeah, it’s pretty cool.”

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The draw in Monte-Carlo has thrown up the possibility of a first meeting with World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in a blockbuster quarter-final at the Masters 1000 event, but Alcaraz will not be steered away from the step-by-step approach that has brought him three tour-level titles and taken him to a career-high No. 11 in the ATP Rankings.

“I don’t want to be in a rush, I just focus on the first [match],” he said. Alcaraz faces Sebastian Korda in the second round in Monaco, a rematch of the 2021 Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals championship match.

“Obviously, it would be a great match against Novak,” added Alcaraz. “Playing against the No. 1 player in the world [would be] amazing for me, but I hope to play well in the first [matches] first and hope to meet him in the quarter-finals.”

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This grounded approach has been instilled in Alcaraz by his team, led by coach and former World No. 1, Juan Carlos Ferrero.

“They support me a lot,” said Alcaraz. “Without them it wouldn’t be possible to be here, to win my first Masters 1000. They support me a lot, try so hard and obviously are talking with me every day, telling me the bad things, the things that I have to improve, the things that I am not doing well. That helps me a lot.”

That’s not to say that Alcaraz isn’t doing things his own way, and the Spaniard is happy that his natural demeanour can help him forge a connection with his thousands of new fans around the world.

“Of course, I will always be the same person,” said Alcaraz. “I will never change. I am confident doing selfies, autographs, everything. I will always be the same person.”

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