“A lot of things changed but I didn’t change myself” 

Carlos Alcaraz maintains that he is still the same teenager he used to be before winning the US Open and becoming the youngest World No. 1 in ATP history, at least as far as his normal life is concerned. Taking on Casper Ruud in the final at Flushing Meadows this year, Alcaraz scored a four-set victory to lift his maiden Grand Slam title.

Speaking at his press conference ahead of the 2022 Paris Masters, the top seed was asked if there was anything different about his life now that he is a Grand Slam champion. The Spaniard, however, answered in the negative, stating that his friends and family still treat him the same, even though he admitted that the tennis part of his life – the media coverage and how perceive him – has undergone a massive shift in the last few months.

“Well, I didn’t change at all. I just had — well, a lot of things changed but I didn’t change myself, you know, as a person,” Alcaraz said. “I think that the people who are around me, my family, my team, my friends, I mean, nothing change with them, with my normal life, let’s say. Of course, I mean, the media, the fans, let’s say, that’s part of course change a lot, but in my normal life, let’s say nothing change.”

The World No. 1 was still in disbelief over how quickly his dreams were realized, with everything coming together much faster than he could have ever imagined. As unexpected as it was, Alcaraz was happy to have achieved what he has achieved.

“It was my dream to win a Grand Slam, to become No. 1 of the world, but I didn’t expect to do that at 19 years old, you know. Everything came so fast, faster than I could imagine,” he said. “Yeah, right now I can realize what I did, my dream came true, but of course it was unexpected.”

Carlos Alcaraz also touched on his knee injury ahead of his opener against Yoshihito Nishioka, remarking that it was nothing serious and that it was just the usual wear-and-tear that came with a long season.

“Well, just some a little problems. You know, I’m going to say as every player at the end of the year have problems in their bodies, you know, and you have to play with that just a little bit,” Carlos Alcaraz said. “But not too serious.”

“I don’t feel the pressure; I just put that goal myself, to end as the No. 1” – Carlos Alcaraz

Carlos Alcaraz takes on Yoshihito Nishioka in his opener in Paris
Carlos Alcaraz takes on Yoshihito Nishioka in his opener in Paris

Carlos Alcaraz has definite plans to end the year as the World No. 1, despite Rafael Nadal, Casper Ruud and Stefanos Tsitsipas hot on his heels. The Spaniard, however, did not see it as additional pressure, noting that he was simply going to try his best at every tournament and keep enjoying his tennis.

“Well, I don’t feel the pressure. I just put that goal myself, you know, to end as the No. 1. But of course is really tough one. There is great players behind me, and, yeah, they have the chances, as well,” Carlos Alcaraz said. “So I don’t take that as a pressure. Just trying to show my best in every tournament to, I mean, keep playing, you know, keep going up. And yeah, that’s what I am. Just enjoy playing tennis, and the pressure is a part.”

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