Carlos Alcaraz reflects on ‘crazy’ top seeding at French Open
World No 1 Carlos Alcaraz is relishing the wild ride of his incredible rise to prominence.
Alcaraz reflected on being the top seed in a Grand Slam at the age of 20 ahead of the 2023 French Open that gets underway on Sunday 28 May.
The Spaniard secured the top seeding with a stunning clay swing which sawn him defend his Barcelona and Madrid titles.
Alcaraz added that he is thrilled to have achieved one of his career goals so soon ahead of an opener against Italian qualifier Flavio Cobolli.
“Well, for me, it’s still crazy to see myself in top seed in a Grand Slam,” Alcaraz said on Friday. “But for me, at same time is great. It is something that I work for to be there. Yeah, I’m really happy to be No.1 seed here in Roland-Garros.”
Alcaraz admits that he needed to get used to being on the big stage with the spotlight on him.
“At the beginning when I played against the best [players], in the best stadiums, it was tough for me to get used to that and to stay calm,” Alcaraz said in his pre-tournament press conference.
“But I learned from those moments. I remember against Rafa for my first time in Madrid, it was really, really tough. I can name a lot of matches that I didn’t feel comfortable playing on that.
“But as I said, I learned from that, and I always wanted to play in those stadiums, in those tournaments, and I tried to feel comfortable playing on that. Right now I feel great playing in the great stadiums.”
Alcaraz believes that the only major changes to his game have been in his mindset.
“I would say I’m the same player as last year, only change that I would say is that I’m more mature. Mentally I’m better,” Alcaraz said.
“I can read what happened on court better than last year. For me, it’s really, really important, and I would say it’s the most different than last year.”
Alcaraz used time afforded to him by a relatively early Rome Masters exit to recharge at home.
“I played golf one day, of course had time with friends, family. Quality time at home is really helpful for me,” Alcaraz said.
“I took some days off. Doing nothing, just chilling.
“I had like five days practising in the academy at home. That is really helpful for me, to be away from tournaments a little bit, have more intensity practice. [This year] I didn’t have more than four days to practise, just to play matches and matches, and for me [it was good to] have this time to prepare for Roland Garros as good as I did these past days.”
READ MORE: Carlos Alcaraz to take up the mantle of Spain’s Roland Garros hero
Stefanos Tsitsipas received French Open ‘wake-up call’
Stefanos Tsitsipas gets early warning at Roland Garros.
WATCH: World No 675 leads emotional rendition of La Marseillaise at Roland Garros
Lucas Pouille and the Court Philippe Chatrier crowd belt out La Marseillaise.
French Open day 1: Marta Kostyuk feels ire of crowd, Ons Jabeur has options, British hopes dashed
The story of the first day of action from Roland Garros.
What Andy Murray needs to do to secure a seeding at Wimbledon
Andy Murray is currently 43rd in the ATP rankings and needs to get into the top 32 to secure a seeding for Wimbledon.
Where will Rafael Nadal be ranked when he returns to the court?
Nadal will be ranked in the mid-130s on the ATP list at the start of June.
Mats Wilander says Aryna Sabalenka has ‘no weaknesses’ after French Open win
“She has no weaknesses in her game if she believes in herself.”
Marta Kostyuk on French Open booing: ‘People should be honestly embarrassed’
The Ukrainian has been the most outspoken critic of tennis’ reaction to the war in her home country.
Stefanos Tsitsipas pats himself on the back – ‘It was a great comeback from me’
Stefanos Tsitsipas saved three set points to avoid being taken to a decider.
Toni Nadal analyses favourites to win 2023 French Open
The legendary coach explains who he would put his money on to win the Paris major.
Dan Evans on French Open controversial foot-fault call: ‘Disruptive, wrong’
Evans also described his current form as “shocking” after French Open exit.