"Can't believe these people enjoy watching my matches for me" - Carlos Alcaraz in disbelief to see celebrities like Jimmy Butler flock to see him play

Carlos Alcaraz thrilled by the presence of celebrities in his matches
Carlos Alcaraz thrilled by the presence of celebrities at his matches

Through to the Round of 16 at the 2023 Miami Open, Carlos Alcaraz had more reasons to be exhilarated on Sunday night as he got to spend time with superstars like NBA icon Jimmy Butler and Dominican singer Natti Natasha.

Alcaraz beat Serbia's Dusan Lajovic 6-0, 7-6(5) in the third round to continue his pursuit of becoming the youngest man to win the Sunshine Double. The 19-year-old, who last lost a set in his defeat to Cameron Norrie in the final of the Rio Open a month ago, has now won 16 out of 17 matches this season.

In a post-match press conference, the Spaniard was asked how he felt about being called the 'future of tennis' and how celebrities were regularly coming to see him play. With a special mention of Butler, the World No. 1 remarked that it was tough for him to believe that public figures were enjoying watching him play.

"Well, I feel great, you know, to see, like, celebrities watching my matches," Alcaraz said. "It's unbelievable. I feel a little bit nervous when I see a person like Jimmy [Butler], celebrities, when I was playing, like, in the US Open. For me, it's unbelievable, you know. In certain ways, I can't believe that these people enjoy watching my matches for me. It's crazy."

The 33-year-old Miami Heat star returned the compliment while speaking to ATPTour.com, saying that Alcaraz was at the top because of his mentality and the fact that he enjoys himself on the court.

“He’s always poised. He’s never rattled and more than anything, it looks like he’s having so much fun out there,” Butler said. “I think whenever you have fun and you have that mentality that you know you’re the best, you go out there and you play as though you’re the best, results happen and he’s not No. 1 for no reason.”

"It's going to be a really tough one" - Carlos Alcaraz on facing Tommy Paul

Carlos Alcaraz during the 2023 Miami Open
Carlos Alcaraz during the 2023 Miami Open

Carlos Alcaraz's opponent in the fourth round of the 2023 Miami Open is Tommy Paul, who downed Marc-Andrea Husler and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in his first two matches. In their only tour-level meeting so far, the 19th-ranked American defeated Alcaraz at the 2022 Canadian Open.

After beating Dusan Lajovic, the Spaniard acknowledged the challenge that lies ahead of him in the form of Paul and stated that it would be a tough battle.

"I have to play at my best. I watch a lot of matches from him. I enjoy watching him," Alcaraz said. "He is really talented player. He makes everything easy. I like to watch this kind of players. I like to play battles, tough battles. So it's going to be a really tough one, and, of course, I'm going to enjoy."

If Carlos Alcaraz fails to defend his title in Miami, Novak Djokovic will replace him as the World No. 1.

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Edited by Nihal
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