Alcaraz has brutally honest assessment of recent struggles after another loss

Alcaraz has brutally honest assessment of recent struggles after another loss

Carlos Alcaraz has explained the reasons for his recent woes after losing his first-ever match at the ATP Finals. The world No 2 was defeated by Alexander Zverev on Monday, marking his third loss in a row. In a brutally honest assessment of his recent dip in form, Alcaraz blamed mental fatigue.

Alcaraz suffered another loss on Monday as Zverev came back from a set down to beat the ATP Finals debutant 6-7(3) 6-3 6-4. It came after an uncharacteristic opening-round defeat in Paris-Bercy and a round-of-16 exit at the Shanghai Masters, marking the first time he has been on a three-match losing streak since March 2021.

The 20-year-old had a glittering start to the season, winning titles in Buenos Aires, Indian Wells, Barcelona, Madrid, Queen’s and his second Major crown at Wimbledon. He then lost a near-four-hour final to Novak Djokovic in Cincinnati and his best results since have been semi-final appearances at the US Open and the Beijing ATP 500.

After his defeat to Zverev, the Spaniard issued a candid verdict as he admitted he wasn’t “feeling well at a tennis level” and had been feeling tired mentally, reminding reporters that he was still only 20 years old. “The truth is that I had been training quite well, with good feelings,” Alcaraz told Spanish media, per AS.

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“Physically, I feel good and I continue to feel good after the game. But after a defeat like today, the truth is that I have not felt well at a tennis level. I have to improve.” Alcaraz had also been focused on obtaining the year-end No 1 ranking but his early exits in recent tournaments ruined his chances and Djokovic ended up securing the achievement on Sunday.

In the future, Alcaraz knows that he can’t get exhausted as the year nears its end or he won’t have a chance to end another season atop the rankings. He continued: “In the end the year has been a very long, very demanding year. I have to improve to reach this point of the year in better condition, especially on a mental level.

“Probably tiredness and mental exhaustion, from being in a fairly high demand for so long. It is something that, if I ever want to win this tournament, if I want to finish the year as No 1, I have to improve and reach this point in the year calm, well and wanting to win everything that is thrown my way. But well, in the end I think I put it down to mental fatigue.”

Despite already being a former world No 1 and multi-Grand Slam champion, Alcaraz is well aware that he still has plenty of time to learn to deal with the demands of the tennis tour. The 20-year-old is already experiencing a first this week, making his debut at the ATP Finals, and he vowed to keep learning from his experiences.

“I’m learning to handle it better and better. In the end I am 20 years old, although I also consider myself a player with some experience of everything I have experienced,” he added. “I still have a lot left, obviously, but I’m getting better at it every time. As I said, at least I am clear about what is happening to me, what I have to improve and from there I will have to get to work and improve it.

“But hey, I’m getting better at the fact of facing these types of players. In the end we are here at a [year-end Finals], the eight best players in the world and we are clear that each match can be a Grand Slam final. So we are going to try to do the best we can, play at our best level, but as I said, I get better every day.”

Luckily for Alcaraz, he could still make it out of the group stage and into the semi-final thanks to the round-robin format at the ATP Finals. The second seed must still play Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev later this week.