It started with a fistbump and ended with a smile.
Before Carlos Alcaraz‘s straight-sets win on Tuesday against Denmark’s Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune at the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals, the pair was waiting just outside the locker room. Brandon Nakashima, who had just won his opening match against Juan Manuel Cerundolo, walked by, and Alcaraz gave him a congratulatory fistbump.
The 18-year-old Spaniard then picked up his bag and headed for the court, where he received a loud ovation upon his arrival. The top seed was ready for the spotlight.
The match itself was a masterful display from the teen, who lifted his first ATP Tour trophy in Umag this year. Alcaraz did not face a break point, and he showed both powerful groundstrokes and quick footspeed, showcased in the point below.
“Both of us played really well,” Alcaraz said. “I tried to stay calm, this is new for me. I was really nervous at the beginning, but I tried to be calm.”
After his post-match interview, Alcaraz walked off court and immediately headed to the gym to do his cooldown. As the jubilant Spaniard neared the gym entrance, Rune, passed by, still disappointed by the result.
Alcaraz embraced his team, including his coach, former World No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero, before getting on the stationary bike. The teen quickly noticed young fans watching him through a glass window above, and he thanked them for their support with a thumbs up and a wide grin.