Alcaraz: 'I Grew Up So Fast'
The second-seeded Spaniard, who was ranked outside the Top 50 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings last August, will be targeting a Tour-leading fifth title and third ATP Masters 1000 crown of a dream season on debut in Canada.
“I grew up so fast. To be the second seed at a Masters 1000 is amazing and I didn’t expect this at the beginning of the year. Honestly I still can’t believe it right now,” Alcaraz said during his pre-tournament press conference on Sunday. “It is something I wanted at the start of the year, when I was aiming to be at the top and be one of the favourites to win one of the most important tournaments.”
The 19-year-old, who will face Tommy Paul or Vasek Pospisil in his opening match in Quebec, has enjoyed a remarkable rise. Last month, he became the second-youngest player in the 21st century to crack the Top 5 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, with only countryman Rafael Nadal reaching the landmark faster.
Now, competing in his first hard-court event since he triumphed in Miami in April, Alcaraz will be looking to adjust to the conditions in Montreal as he plays on his third surface since July. The World No. 4 reached the fourth round on grass at Wimbledon last month, before he advanced to consecutive clay-court finals in Hamburg and Umag, leaving him 42-7 on the season.
“It is tough to change surfaces quickly. In two months, I have played on three surfaces and it is tough. But I consider myself a player who adjusts to a new surface very fast,” Alcaraz said. “The transition from clay to hard is tough, but I did specific work to adjust to hard court and I have come here a lot of days before to get used to this court. [I have been] playing points and sets with the best players.”
Alcaraz revealed he has been enjoying his time in Montreal since his arrival and has been excited by the support he has received from fans.
The 2021 Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals champion, who sits second in the Pepperstone ATP Race To Turin, is looking forward to competing in front of the crowds on his debut in Canada.
“I have felt so much love from the people,” Alcaraz said. “That is amazing for me. It is my first time and I didn’t expect that. There are lots of people and it is amazing to have the support and the love of the people here.”