Since making his tour-level debut in 2020, Carlos Alcaraz continues to entertain with his play across the court. In his second-round win against Thanasi Kokkinakis in BNP Paribas Open on Saturday, the 19-year-old Spaniard brought the fans to their feet again, hitting a series of stunning winners to advance.
“I try to make people enjoy watching tennis, and I think the way I play, they like it or it seems like it,” said Alcaraz, who received a standing ovation during his 76-minute win. “I felt the love of the people. I think the US Open helped me a lot, to have a lot of people behind me, supporting me. I would say the way that I play, they love to watch.”
The Spaniard reached the semi-finals at Indian Wells last year and knows a run at his third ATP Masters 1000 title this fortnight in California will take him back to No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings. The 19-year-old rose to the top spot in September after winning the US Openstaying there for 20 weeks before Novak Djokovic he was replaced after getting the Australian Open crown
Alcaraz refuses to look too far ahead, however, with full focus on his upcoming fight Tallon Griekspoor.
“I think that’s the most important part of my game, to stay relaxed and do it and not think about the mistakes, the points, the rounds,” Alcaraz said. “Just, let’s say, live [in] the moment, play the match, and do it. That is the goal in this tournament for me.”
Last month, the top seed clinched his seventh tour-level title in Buenos Aires before advancing to the final in Rio de Janeiro, where he suffered a right hamstring injury. Any injury doubts were put to bed against Kokkinakis, with Alcaraz moving freely throughout the area.
“Yes, I really got better. I seem to be moving really well now. I feel really comfortable playing here. More movement here,” Alcaraz said. “So I think I’m ready and fully recovered from the injury.”