Tennis: No extra pressure on Alcaraz at French Open, says Ferrero

AFP , Sunday 28 May 2023

There is no added pressure on Carlos Alcaraz to win his second Grand Slam title at the French Open, his coach Juan Carlos Ferrero said on Sunday.

Carlos Alcaraz
Carlos Alcaraz is the favourite to win the French Open men s title


The world number one will start his first Slam tournament since winning last year's US Open in the next two days, attempting to step into the absent Rafael Nadal's shoes by lifting the trophy.

Alcaraz will play Italian qualifier Flavio Cobolli in the first round.

"I think of course (having) won a Grand Slam already, 19 years old, now 20, it's gonna help him to believe that he can make it again," said Ferrero, who won the Roland Garros title 20 years ago.

"I think it's all help, not more pressure. So that's what we believe, and I think we are prepared to make a great tournament.

"Of course everybody can lose in the first round, you don't have a clue.

"But I think we (have) played a very good clay season at the moment, and this is the last one, so we are gonna try to give our best to make the best tournament possible with no pressure."

Alcaraz, the youngest man to ever reach the top of the world rankings, has successfully defended the Barcelona and Madrid Open titles in the clay-court season.

The 20-year-old Spaniard, who lost in the quarter-finals at the French Open to Alexander Zverev last year, faces a tricky path to a potential semi-final against Novak Djokovic.

He could face in-form youngster Lorenzo Musetti in the last 16, while 2021 runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas is a possible quarter-final opponent.

Ferrero thinks that Alcaraz is better equipped to go all the way than he was 12 months ago.

"As a person, I would say he's more mature," he said.

"I would say he's better than last year. I think he has more experience.

"The experience that he's won the US Open and, living the experience on the court that he did, I think makes him grow faster than maybe other people, so definitely he's a better player."

Alcaraz has reclaimed the world number one ranking from Djokovic despite missing the Australian Open at the start of the year with a leg injury suffered in training.

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