Teenager Carlos Alcaraz said he was unfazed by the pressure of being perceived as a favorite following his meteoric rise to the top of tennis, adding that he won’t be distracted by the lure of being world number one and just trying to enjoy every game.
The 19-year-old Spaniard, second in the world, became the youngest-ever number one after winning the US Open in September. A win over Daniil Medvedev in the Indian Wells final on Sunday could see him return to the top.
Alcaraz defeated Jannik Sinner 7-6 (4) 6-3 on Saturday to reach his third final of 2023 after winning the title in Buenos Aires and the final in Rio de Janeiro in February after a more than three-month break due to abdominal pain Janeiro had reached hamstring injuries.
“Not too much is changing for me,” Alcaraz told reporters. “I don’t think about being the favorite in every game. I don’t think about winning every game.
“I only have goals in mind, I have things to do and that’s all I think about. I try to enjoy every game. I don’t think about anything else.”
“I know if I win tomorrow I’ll be number one. I’ll try not to think about it. I have to do everything perfectly. That’s all I’ll think about tomorrow.”
Russia’s Medvedev, a former world number one, defeated Frances Tiafoe 7-5, 7-6 (4) to extend his winning streak to 19 games. After victories in Rotterdam, Doha and Dubai, he is aiming for his fourth title in as many tournaments.
Medvedev said his second-round win over Alcaraz at Wimbledon in 2021 – the only previous meeting between the pair – was not a benchmark for their showdown on Sunday.
“He was definitely not the same player as he is now,” said Medvedev. So in a way it’s going to be like a first match between us, how we’re going to do it tactically, physically or tennis-wise.
“He’s incredible, he has incredible skills that are hard to compare to anyone… He’s going to be great fun to play against.”
Source : www.channelnewsasia.com