Carlos Alcaraz retains Madrid Open title, close to becoming No. 1 again | Tennis News

MADRID: Carlos Alcaraz is looking forward to traveling to Italy next week to participate in the Masters of Rome for the first time in his career and recover the world number one place of Novak Djokovic.
After retaining their title in Madrid on Sunday by beating lucky loser Jan-Lennard Struff 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, Alcaraz need only show up and play in Rome to overtake Djokovic.
Rankings are based on points claimed at each tournament, which expire each year. To maintain points earned in an event, a player must at least match the tally from the previous year.

Alcaraz skipped the Rome Masters last year with an ankle injury so has no points to defend while Djokovic won in Rome last year so can’t improve on his points tally .
With just five points to split the two players in the next round of rankings, Alcaraz will move past the Serbian into first place even if he loses at the first hurdle in Rome.
After an injury-plagued start to the season, Alcaraz said he was 100 per cent thinking big, motivated to keep improving his game as he prepares for Roland Garros, which begins on the 28th. may.
“I’m an ambitious guy and I’m going all out for the win in Rome,” Alcaraz told a press conference on Sunday.

“What I’m achieving is something big. I’ve just won my 10th title, my fourth Masters 1000, consecutive titles here in Madrid and I’m very close to reclaiming world number one.
“It’s a special moment and I’m very proud of what I’m accomplishing. The work I’m doing.”
The Spaniard, who turned 20 on Friday, had a spectacular start to his career, winning the US Open last September to become the youngest man to top the charts.
On Sunday, he had to do his best to beat a relentless Struff and clinch his fourth title of the season, adding to triumphs in Buenos Aires, Indian Wells and Barcelona.

“I know I have the ability to play well in important moments,” Alcaraz said. “I’m a player who grows under pressure, on the big stage, and I like to do different things in those times. Adapt to what my opponents bring to me.
“I’m a finals player: I’ve played 13 finals and won 10 of them.”
He joined Rafael Nadal as Madrid’s only consecutive champion and is the youngest to retain an ATP Masters 1000 title since his fellow Spaniard in Monte Carlo and Rome in 2005-06.


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