‘We are going to go to Rome,’ says ‘ambitious boy’ as he confirms hectic schedule

Shahida Jacobs
Carlos Alcaraz on the run
Carlos Alcaraz during a match

Carlos Alcaraz completed another successful title defence at the Madrid Open on Sunday and he will next compete at the Italian Open, but before that he will visit Paris.

After winning back-to-back Barcelona Open trophies just over a fortnight ago, Alcaraz doubled up in the Spanish capital on Sunday as he held off lucky loser Jan-Lennard Struff, beating the German 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 in the final for his fourth title of the year and the 10th singles trophy of his career.

“The ability I have to play important moments, I think I am a player who grows in those moments, I do different things from the rest of the players, that characterises me,” he said after his win.

“Together with my team we tell ourselves that I am a finals player, I have played 13 and I have won 10. In important moments I give the best level and I grow.”

The Spaniard, who turned 20 on Friday, won’t have much time to celebrate his latest achievement as he is set to make his debut at the Italian Open this week.

“These are very beautiful achievements, my 10th title, my fourth Masters 1,000, defending the title in Madrid. They are very big things, I feel very proud of the achievements I am achieving. I am an ambitious boy and we are going to Rome,” the world No 2 said.

Last year he missed the tournament due to injury, but he is looking finally realise his childhood dream of playing in the main draw at Foro Italico.

He later added: “I have never played there, it will be my first time. I want to play there because I missed it last year. I’ve wanted to play there since I was a kid. I don’t know how it will go, the sensations there, but I’m sure I’m going to enjoy it.”

However, before he heads to Rome he will make a stop in Paris as he will attend Monday’s 2023 Laureus World Sports Awards as he has been nominated for the Breakthrough of the Year award following his incredible 2022 season that saw him win the US Open and become the youngest-ever ATP No 1.

He will then fly to Italy where he will spend the next fortnight, results dependent, before heading back to Spain for his final preparations for Roland Garros. The 20-year-old will then return to Paris for the 2023 French Open, which starts on May 28, where he will be one of the favourites.

The Spaniard has already won three titles on clay this year while usual favourites Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have struggled with injury. Nadal is yet to play on clay this year as he is recovering from a hip injury while Djokovic missed the Madrid Open due to an elbow problem.

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