Carlos Alcaraz gives insight into his mentality after comeback win, saying ‘I enjoy the big battles’

French Open
Carlos Alcaraz in action

Carlos Alcaraz produced another heroic display as he dug himself out of a hole at Roland Garros and he is enjoying the ride and feeling comfortable playing big matches.

The rising star came back from the brink against Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the French Open second round on Wednesday as he faced a match point in the fourth set, but went on to claim a remarkable 6-1, 6-7 (9-10), 5-7, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4 victory.

He has only been on the circuit for a couple of years, but it was not the first time he produced a titanic battle as he also took out Stefanos Tsitsipas in five sets at the 2021 US Open and also dispatched the Greek on the way to winning the Barcelona Open. At the Madrid Open he looked down and out against world No 1 Novak Djokovic, but won in three tight sets.

He slugged it out with his fellow Spaniard Ramos-Vinolas for four hours and 34 minutes and also found himself staring defeat in the face in the decider as he was 0-3 behind.

So was he nervous?

“You always have nerves in the match, but I think I wasn’t nervous today,” he said. “Just maybe at the end of the fourth set when I was down match point, there was maybe that thought, ‘Well, you are one point from losing.’ But I tried not to think that I’m in Roland Garros. I’m trying to enjoy the moment.

“I respect him. I know him a lot. I knew that it was going to be a great match and a tough match. But I’m very happy with my level, being able to come back and of course beat him at the end.”

He added: “In the fourth and fifth sets, I smiled with my team. So I enjoy the battles. I want to play big battles and tough battles against the best players in the world.”

Up next is 27th seed Sebastian Korda, who is one of only three players who have defeated Alcaraz this season as the American stunned him in the second round of the Monte Carlo Masters.

But the pressure is not getting to the 19-year-old as he is still going strong.

“I’m still young, but I would say a pretty experienced player now. I feel comfortable playing in big stadiums, big matches, playing in Grand Slams,” he said.

“Physically and mentally, I’m strong. I think I’m ready to play these kinds of matches in these situations and these tournaments.”

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