Carlos Alcaraz to CNN: ‘I’m playing unbelievable tennis’
NEW YORK — Carlos Alcaraz has to be feeling good right about now.
In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that aired Sunday and is set to air on Monday night, Alcaraz said he’s still learning the game as a pro. But when pressed to give an update on his performance, he began to answer questions with a broad smile.
“I’m playing unbelievable tennis,” he said.
Alcaraz is ranked No. 18 in the world. He came to New York with a reputation as a low-key player known mainly for his ability to serve and volley. But he’s risen recently. After posting his high-profile upset over No. 4 James Blake in the U.S. Open semifinals, he has notched victories at this week’s Australian Open and last month’s Sony Open, where he was just 6-4 in singles.
He also leads the men’s tennis rankings at No. 4.
Alcaraz, who is ranked No. 18 in the world, says he’ll be ready to play the hard court when he makes his first appearance at the New York Open in the second week of July. His opponent will be either Sam Querrey, No. 17, from Australia, or Richard Gasquet, No. 34, from France.
Alcaraz’s rise began in August, when he posted his first-round victory over Blake in the U.S. Open. He defeated him in all three sets: 3-6, 6-1, 6-3.
The victory represented an incredible comeback after his first-round loss to Blake in the quarterfinals at the U.S. Open last month.
Alcaraz had suffered his fair share of ups and downs over the years. But this win in his fourth attempt to reach the U.S. Open quarterfinals, a feat that would normally have guaranteed his spot, left him with only one loss to Blake, a three-setter in which he also came back from a 3-0 deficit to prevail 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 7-5.
His turnaround included the No. 5 ranking in the world, a No. 4 ranking in the ATP rankings for men and the first No. 4 in the top 10 of the men’s doubles rankings for six years.