Carlos Alcaraz leaves Roland Garros with ‘head very high’, insists ‘I’m not far away from winning a Grand Slam’

Carlos Alcaraz blows kisses to crowd

He came up short at this year’s French Open, but Carlos Alcaraz believes he has “the level and the confidence to win a Grand Slam”.

Alcaraz has made no secret of the fact that his ultimate goals in tennis are to win a major and to reach No 1 in the ATP Rankings, but his hopes of securing his maiden Slam at Roland Garros this year ended on Tuesday as he was beaten in the quarter-final by Alexander Zverev.

Having won four singles titles this year, including two on clay in the build-up to the red dirt major, the Spaniard was some people’s pre-tournament favourite.

However, he went down 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (9-7) against Zverev in the last eight.

The 19-year-old admitted that his start was not good enough, but he is confident that he has what it takes to win a Grand Slam.

“I have to take the lessons [from] today. It was a tough match and close match,” he said. “I could say I didn’t start well, and in this level, quarter-final of a Grand Slam, you are playing against the best players in the world, so you have to start the match better than I did.

“I have to improve for the next Grand Slam or next matches. But I would say I’m not far away from reaching a semi-final or being able to win a Grand Slam…I would say I have the level, I have the confidence to win a Grand Slam or reach the semi-finals next time.”

He added: “I leave the court and leave the tournament with the head very high. I fought until the last ball. I fought until the last second of the match, and I’m proud of it.”

Alcaraz, who also reached the quarter-final of the US Open last year, came close to forcing a deciding set against Zverev as he had a set point on his own serve in the tie-breaker, but failed to capitilise.

“I am going try to take the positive things of the match, and of course the bad things that I did, to improve to the next matches or next tournaments or next Grand Slams,” he said. “I was close to a good match, close to a fifth set, and in the fifth set everything could happen. I’m going to take a lesson from this match.

“This was my second quarter-final at a Grand Slam and I think I fought until the last ball. I hope the next Grand Slam, next quarter-final that I will play at a Grand Slam, I will do better and [improve] my chances to reach the semi-finals.”