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

French Open
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.”