Carlos Alcaraz says he is looking to take the positives from his Roland Garros quarter-final loss to Alexander Zverev on Tuesday as he aims to use the experience as a learning curve.
The 19-year-old Spaniard entered the clash against the German on a 14-game winning streak but was unable to cope with the heavy strike from the world No. 3, falling in four sets on the short Philippe Chatrier.
“I have to take lessons [from] today. It was a tough game and a tight game,” Alcaraz said in his post-match press conference. “I could say that I didn’t start well, and at this level, quarter-final of a Grand Slam, you play against the best players in the world, so you have to start the game better than I did. today.
“I have to improve for the next Grand Slam or the next matches. But I would say that I am not far from reaching a semi-final or being able to win a Grand Slam… I would say that I have the level, I I have the confidence to win a Grand Slam or reach the semi-finals next time.”
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In a rematch of the Mutua Madrid Open final, won by Alcaraz, both players kicked the ball aggressively. While Zverev produced the best level in key moments, the Spaniard gave another impressive account of himself in what was only his second Paris appearance.
“I’m leaving the field and I’m leaving the tournament with my head held high,” Alcaraz said. “I fought until the last ball. I fought until the last second of the game and I’m proud of it.
After winning a spectacular third set to gain a foothold in the match, Alcaraz were then edged out in a fourth set tie-break. While the tour-level five-title roster was disappointed that he couldn’t force a decider, he felt emboldened by many aspects of his game.
“I will try to take the positive things from the game, and of course the bad things I did, to improve in the next matches or the next tournaments or the next Grand Slams,” added Alcaraz. “I was close to a good game, close to a fifth set, and in the fifth set anything could happen. I will learn from this game.
“It was my second Grand Slam quarter-final and I think I fought until the last ball. I hope the next Grand Slam, the next Grand Slam quarter-final I will do better and [improve] my chances of reaching the semi-finals.
Despite his failure, Alcaraz revealed he really enjoyed competing in the French capital, where he was supported by a vocal crowd throughout.
“I loved [it] A lot, even [though] I lost,” Alcaraz said. “To play in front of such a big crowd, to play in these kind of tournaments, on this kind of ground, is incredible for me… That’s why I train, that’s why I play tennis, continue to dream, have a chance of being in the best tournaments in the world.
“Of course, I couldn’t be disappointed with this crowd or I couldn’t ask for better here, in Paris which supports me, until the last ball which supports me, from the start to the end of the match. I just say thank you to the crowd.