Since making his tour-level debut in 2020, Carlos Alcaraz has consistently entertained with his all-court game. During his second-round win against Thanasi Kokkinakis at the BNP Paribas Open on Saturday, the 19-year-old Spaniard once again brought the fans to their feet, hitting a series of stunning winners to advance.
“I try to make the people enjoy watching tennis, and I think the way that I play, they love it or it seems like that,” said Alcaraz, who received raucous support throughout his 76-minute win. “I felt the love from the people. I think the US Open helped me a lot, to have a lot of people behind me, supporting me. I would say the way that I play, they love to watch.”
The Spaniard reached the semi-finals in Indian Wells last year and knows that a run to his third ATP Masters 1000 title this fortnight in California will lift him back to No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings. The 19-year-old rose to top spot in September after winning the US Open, remaining there for 20 weeks before Novak Djokovic replaced him after capturing the Australian Open crown.
Alcaraz is refusing to look too far ahead, though, with full focus on his upcoming match against Tallon Griekspoor.
“I think that’s the most important part of my game, to stay relaxed and go for it and not to think about the mistakes, the points, the rounds,” Alcaraz said. “Just, let’s say, live [in] the moment, play the match, and go for it. That’s the goal in this tournament for me.”
Last month, the top seed clinched his seventh tour-level title in Buenos Aires before he advanced to the final in Rio de Janeiro, where he picked up a right hamstring injury. Any injury doubts were put to bed against Kokkinakis, with Alcaraz moving freely throughout.
“Yeah, I recovered really well. It seems today that I move really well. I felt really comfortable playing here. More movement here,” Alcaraz said. “So I think I’m ready and totally recovered from the injury.”