Alcaraz: ‘These Losses Sometimes Are Good’

Carlos Alcaraz suffered a rare setback at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters on Wednesday when he lost in three sets against Sebastian Korda. But the Spanish star was clear that the defeat had nothing to do with expectations.

“I’m a bit disappointed with myself. I had a lot of chances to be up in the match and close to winning, but these losses sometimes [are] good to live. You have to play matches,” Alcaraz said. “But I didn’t think about the expectations that the people have [for] me. I just focussed on me and what I have to do. But as I said, you have to play more matches on clay courts.”

All eyes were on the 18-year-old after his run to the Miami Open presented by Itau title. Alcaraz said that he was not physically and mentally fatigued leading into the year’s first clay-court ATP Masters 1000 event.

“I’m ready to [go] back [to] training and focus on the next tournaments,” Alcaraz said. “It [was] a tough match, but I think mentally I’m ready to play these kind of matches, long matches, and tough matches. I mean, mentally and physically, I’m ready.”

Alcaraz admitted that his loss was moreso because of the transition from hard to clay.

“It’s never easy to get used to playing on clay courts. The first match is always tough, even when you are playing against Sebastian, a great player. Today was difficult conditions, the wind and everything,” Alcaraz said. “Now is time to be focussed on the next tournament and keep playing on clay.”

The World No. 11 added: “It’s totally different to play on clay than on hard court. Points are longer, the slice [is used] much [more] than on hard court. But yeah, you have to adapt your game to clay courts. It’s totally different. More topspin, [the] points [are] longer.

“You have to play matches, play sets, to get used to playing on clay courts. Well, it’s tough, the transition [from] hard courts to clay courts.”

Despite the loss, Alcaraz is still 18-8 in tour-level matches on clay in his career. A year ago, he captured his first ATP Tour title on the surface in Umag and earlier this season he triumphed at the ATP 500 in Rio de Janeiro. Next week, the teen will try to get back on track in Barcelona.

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