Carlos Alcaraz reflects on shock defeat at Monte Carlo Masters: ‘I’m a bit disappointed with myself’

Spain's Carlos Alcaraz in action

It is back to training for Carlos Alcaraz as he looks to find his rhythm on clay following his surprise loss to Sebastian Korda at the Monte Carlo Masters.

On the back of winning the Miami Open, many backed Alcaraz to make a smooth transition from hard court to his favourite clay surface. However, it wasn’t to be as the American claimed a 7-6 (7-2), 6-7 (5-7), 6-3 win in the battle of the Next Gen stars.

The 18-year-old came out to serve for the opening set in game 12, but was broken to love while he also squandered three set points in game 10 of the second set before winning the tie-breaker.

He then broke in the opening game of the third set, but his lead was wiped away in game four before Korda broke again in game eight.

“I’m a bit disappointed with myself,” the Spaniard said. “I had a lot of chances to be up in the match and close to winning, but these losses sometimes [are] good to live. You have to play matches.

“But I didn’t think about the expectations that the people have [for] me. I just focused on me and what I have to do. But as I said, you have to play more matches on clay courts.”

The teenager added: “I’m ready to [go] back [to] training and focus on the next tournaments. It [was] a tough match, but I think mentally I’m ready to play these kind of matches, long matches, and tough matches. I mean, mentally and physically, I’m ready.”

Alcaraz won the Rio Open on clay, but then switched back to hard courts and reached the semi-final of the Indian Wells Open before notching up his maiden ATP Masters 1000 title in Florida.

He admits he struggled with the conditions and the surface.

“It’s never easy to get used to playing on clay courts. The first match is always tough, even when you are playing against Sebastian, a great player. Today was difficult conditions, the wind and everything,” the world No 11 said. “Now is time to be focused on the next tournament and keep playing on clay.”

Alcaraz added: “It’s totally different to play on clay than on hard court. Points are longer, the slice [is used] much [more] than on hard court. But yeah, you have to adapt your game to clay courts. It’s totally different. More topspin, [the] points [are] longer.

“You have to play matches, play sets, to get used to playing on clay courts. Well, it’s tough, the transition [from] hard courts to clay courts.”