Rome upset ‘best thing’ for Carlos Alcaraz, feels former world No 2

Carlos Alcaraz during a match

Carlos Alcaraz’s upset loss to Fabian Marozsan at the Italian Open was the “best thing” that could happen to him ahead of Roland Garros, believes Alex Corretja.

The two-time French Open runner-up feels the world No 1 is “totally ready” to perform well at the Paris Grand Slam, which begins on Sunday May 28.

Alcaraz was stunned 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) by Hungarian qualifier Marozsan, who was ranked 135th at the time, in the third round in Rome last week.

Prior to that, the 20-year-old Spaniard successfully defended clay-court titles on home soil in Barcelona and Madrid in back-to-back events.

Corretja argued Alcaraz’s surprise defeat at the ATP Masters 1000 event could be a positive rather than a cause for concern.

“For me it was the best thing it could happen to him. Now, he had time off, he rested and he is going to be much fresher for Roland-Garros. He has spent a few days relaxing and he’s practising again to be ready for the tournament,” Corretja told Eurosport.

“So there is no alarm, there are no worries, it is the opposite. It puts him in the situation of being careful because everybody plays very well and you can be surprised from anyone in the tournament.

“So I think it’s a good notice for him to understand that he needs to continue doing his things, but knowing that everybody plays well. I think he already knew that, but this loss puts him in the spot of ‘OK, I cannot let myself relax because everybody plays unbelievable tennis’.”

The former world No 2 also thinks his compatriot will have learned from his 2022 French Open campaign, where he lost to Alexander Zverev in the quarter-finals.

“He had the experience from last year at Roland Garros, where it was pretty much the first time that he was in the big spot to see if he can do well. And he’s going to deal with the situation in a totally different way,” continued the Spaniard.

“He is going to be more relaxed from the very first round. Even if he needs to win and to suffer, he will be ready for that. He knows already that a lot of attention is going to be on his shoulders because, especially for the Spanish press, there is no Rafa there.

“But I think he is totally ready. He has been dealing with the situation extremely well. And I think he is absolutely ready to do well at Roland Garros.”

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