Carlos Alcaraz shrugs off ‘tiredness’ excuse, says he was outplayed

Fabian Marozsan and Carlos Alcaraz

World No 2 Carlos Alcaraz has put down his defeat to Fabian Marozsan in Rome down to his opponent making him uncomfortable.

Alcaraz said that he was not feeling at all tired despite a busy few weeks on the clay swing for the soon-to-be No 1.

Marozsan did make an impressive start and had Alcaraz off his game for the first set before surviving the Madrid Open champions’ second set fightback.

“I was perfect physically. I just didn’t feel comfortable,” Alcaraz said afterwards during his press conference.

“He made me feel uncomfortable on the court. He was aggressive and was playing inside the baseline all the time.’

“It was tough for me to get into the match, into the rally. I made a lot of mistakes that I usually don’t make too much.’

“These days can happen in tennis, and you have to handle it. In the second set I was close, I had my chances, but I didn’t take the chances. He was at the same level all the time. He deserves the win.”

It is the first time Alcaraz has fallen to a player ranked below the top 100 since the 2021 Paris Masters, when he was defeated in the third round by Hugo Gaston.

Marozsan showed some potential in winning a Challenger championship in Turkey earlier this season. However, he has battled for consistency in his game, having lost four of his previous five matches prior to Rome, when he advanced through qualification to reach the main draw.

“Everything was perfect today,” said Marozsan. “The crowd, the weather, the court. I’m just happy I’m doing my job.

“I think in the tie-break it was 1/4 and I won six points in a row. It’s amazing, I don’t know what happened during the points, I just tried to hit back every ball and tried to do my best. I tried to find out how to win points against him in that tough situation, and it just happened. I don’t know what to say.”

“I tried to fight until the last ball, but it wasn’t enough,” reflected Alcaraz in his post-match press conference. “Of course, in the second set, it was close. I had my chances at 6-5, 15/30. I would say I could win that set, except little things happened. Of course, he deserves the win. If he plays at that level, he’s going to surprise more than one.”

Alcaraz tipped Marozsan to crack the top 100 sooner rather than later.

“He surprised me a lot. His level was really, really high and I’m sure he’s going to break the top 100 very, very soon,” Alcaraz said.

“If he plays at that level, he’s going to surprise more than one (top players).”

Alcaraz hopes to use his time off from match action to fine tune his game for the French Open, where he will be the top seed.

“If I want to go to Paris in a good shape, I have to practice, to be better. I couldn’t practice more than three, four days in a row. I’ve been playing so much,” Alcaraz said.

“It’s going to be really helpful for me to have days at home practicing and getting ready for Roland Garros.”

WATCH: Carlos Alcaraz stunned by world number 135 Fabian Marozsan in Rome