Carlos Alcaraz talks about his title defence at the Barcelona Open

Barcelona Open

With the Barcelona Open underway and many exciting players looking to clinch the title, let’s see what the defending champion Carlos Alcaraz had to say about returning to the tournament.

“Barcelona is a place I love playing in, where I have really amazing memories, not just from last year, but also from playing when I was young. I’m going to try and avoid that pressure to defend the title,” the 19-year-old said.

The rising star has certainly become a fan favourite and will be looking to put up an exciting performance in the Barcelona Open. Alcaraz has great memories of playing in Barcelona, not just from last year but also from playing there when he was younger.

The 19-year-old will be hoping to defend an ATP title for the first time in his career. However, this is not his first time competing as the defending champion in a tournament. The first seed came close to defending his first title last year In Umag but fell short after losing to Jannik Sinner in the final.

Alcaraz started the Umag final with an excellent chance to defend his throne; however, the match shifted in the second set. This saw Sinner claim the win after the match ended with a score of 7-6, 1-6, 1-6.

He was also unable to defend his Rio de Janeiro title after losing to Cameron Norrie in the final earlier this year. The match was close, with Alcaraz winning the first set, but Norrie dismissed Alcaraz’s title defence with a 7-5, 4-6, 5-7 win over the Spaniard.

READ MORE: WATCH: Carlos Alcaraz practicing ahead of the Barcelona Open

He also saw an early exit from the recent Miami Open to Sinner; the Spaniard was up after the first set but failed to stay ahead. The match ended with a score of 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, 2-6, which ended the Spaniard’s title defence.

The Spaniard will be hoping to defend his Barcelona Open title but is not focused on his defence, hoping to relieve some of the pressure.

“We’ll be thinking about everything, apart from defending the title,” said the defending champion.

“I’m a player who looks at the route to the final, but only briefly, “But my focus is on the first round, and it will stay there until I’ve played it.

Alcaraz’s first opponent is still to be decided and will be revealed later today after Ilya Ivashka and Nuno Borges face each other in the round of 64.

Despite the absence of Rafael Nadal, Alcaraz doesn’t believe he is a favourite to win because many talented players will be out on the court.

“The absences don’t make me feel like more of a favourite. Every match is huge and every player in the draw can beat me, no problem,” he said.

“I have to stay focused and play my best in every match. I don’t feel like a favourite at all, every match is huge, and I have to play as well as possible.”

The young star will undoubtedly go out in full swing to put up an exciting performance for his fans, friends, and family, who will support him every step of the way.