"I am trying to use the pressure In my favour" - Carlos Alcaraz ahead of Cincinnati
Carlos Alcaraz was adamant that pressure did not bother him earlier in the year but he's changed his tune recently.
Alcaraz was fully embracing the pressure earlier in the season claiming it doesn't bother him recent evidence seems to suggest otherwise. The Spaniard had a tremendous rise earlier in the year getting himself in the top 10 and expectations skyrocketed after that. He was the overwhelming favourite in two clay events a couple of weeks ago but he failed to win either of those, losing in the finals.
Being the 2nd seed in Montreal last week impacted him as well and he admitted a couple of times in the past weeks that he couldn't handle the pressure. Now, he's trying to make good use of it:
“Right now, I take each match as a challenge for me to stay the same as always. I am No. 4 in the world, one of the favourites to win this tournament, so it is a bit tough to handle the pressure. But I am training at my best. I am training with the objective to improve and try to produce the game I produced during the clay season and in Miami. It is a challenge for me to be the same.”
Talk returned to his match in Montreal where Alcaraz appeared to be in good position to win it. A set in hand and a break up in the 2nd set was a strong position but he faltered and lost. He knows why:
“I understood everything of what happened in Montreal. I couldn’t handle the pressure to be one of the favourites to win the tournament or be the ranking that I am right now. I come here to train and now show where I am. The kind of player I am means that I am trying to use the pressure in my favour. I know I am playing against the best players in the world, so I am going to try my best.”