"I was shaking": Alcaraz opens up on handling pressure in Grand Slam finals

Sunday, 30 June 2024 at 20:00
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Carlos Alcaraz acknowledged the nerves he felt in the finals of the French Open and Wimbledon, even shaking both times in the last game. The 3-time Grand Slam champion spoke about his mentality in moments of pressure as he prepares to defend his title at SW19.
The third seed will debut against an unknown Mark Lajal (No. 262), who came through the qualifiers and has only two wins on the Tour. Lajal will be playing his first Grand Slam main draw, probably the worst scenario to face Alcaraz, the recent champion at Roland Garros, who is looking to defend his Wimbledon title.

Alcaraz acknowledges nerves in French Open and Wimbledon finals

The Spaniard dealt with injuries during the clay swing and only played one tournament on the surface before the French Open, reaching the quarterfinals at the Madrid Open but losing to the eventual champion, Andrey Rublev. Despite not having the best feelings in the weeks prior, Alcaraz managed to play his best tennis at Roland Garros and win his third Grand Slam title, completing Slam titles on all three surfaces.
Nevertheless, Alcaraz acknowledged that in defining moments, he feels the pressure and also gets nervous. He specifically mentioned that he was shaking in the last game of the Roland Garros final against Alexander Zverev, as well as last year in the Wimbledon final against Djokovic.
“In the final game at Roland Garros this month, I was shaking. The same is true at the Wimbledon final last year. My legs, my hands. It is a difficult moment and you have to trust yourself. Everything I think in that moment is: 'Go for it. If you miss it, you miss it. Don't hold back. Don't regret. Play positive. Go aggressively. Play your game.' It's OK to miss, that happens.
Alcaraz won his first French Open title few weeks ago.
“It has even happened to Federer, who was 40-15 on serve in the fifth set and lost [against Djokovic in the epic 2019 Wimbledon final]. Top players in every sport have lost in important moments. But if you try and you miss, you are going to learn from it. If I hadn't lost the matches I lost in 2022, I would never have achieved what I achieved. I learn from every defeat. You have to learn from moments you live,” Alcaraz added.
The former world No. 1 will debut on Monday against Lajal in the first match of the tournament on Centre Court. The defending champion will take the court starting at 1:30 pm local time, beginning his journey to defend the title.

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