Carlos Alcaraz has taken the ongoing US Open by storm, reaching the first Slam quarterfinal of his career. Alcaraz's meteoric rise has made everyone sit up and take notice of his talent, but on Tuesday the 18-year-old played down any comparisons with the Big 3 of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
Alcaraz started his campaign off with a flyer, beating Cameron Norrie in straight sets. He subsequently defeated World No. 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas in a pulsating five-setter to advance to the Round of 16.
The Spaniard took on Peter Gojowczyk in the fourth round, where he overturned a two-sets-to-one deficit to win another epic. Alcaraz, however, ran out of steam during his quarterfinal against Felix Auger-Aliassime, retiring with a right adductor injury after going a set and break down.
Speaking during his post-match press conference, Carlos Alcaraz touched upon the comparisons made between him and men's tennis' fabled 'Big 3'. The 18-year-old has been compared to compatriot Rafael Nadal right since the start of his career, while in recent times others have drawn parallels between his game style and that of Novak Djokovic.
But while Carlos Alcaraz acknowledged that it feels good to be compared to the big names, he claimed he doesn't give it much importance since he doesn't want to put too much pressure on himself.
"For me it is good that they compare me with the best," Alcaraz was quoted as saying by MARCA. "But I do not give it more importance because I try not to put pressure on myself because they expect me to do what these beasts have done. Each one has to make their way."
Carlos Alcaraz's quarterfinal run at the US Open has made him the youngest men's player to ever qualify for the final eight at Flushing Meadows. The Spaniard asserted during his presser that despite having to retire from the event, he is happy with the progress he made over the fortnight.
"I am happy with my performance here," Alcaraz said. "This tournament has made me mature a lot. I have played great tennis. A little sad about how it went today, but already looking forward to coming back next year."
"I have no words to describe the affection I have felt" - Carlos Alcaraz on US Open crowd suport
During the course of the press conference, Carlos Alcaraz spoke highly about the support he received from the New York crowd throughout the tournament.
"I have felt very supported all week by the public, without them I could not have come here," the Spaniard said. "They have made me feel super good. I have no words to describe the affection I have felt."
Alcaraz went on to assert, however, that his run will not bring about any change in his demeanor or behavior, since he is the "same boy".
"The result will not change me," Alcaraz said. "I will be the same boy and the same player."
The Spaniard also clarified that the two five-set matches he played prior to the quarterfinal may have been a cause for his injury.
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"I had no choice but to withdraw, I couldn't continue playing. The problem was in the adductor of my right leg," Carlos Alcaraz said. "Of course, the two matches to five sets in a row have not helped me because I'm not used to that. Before the match already I started to feel something, then I had the pain under control and at the end of the first set the discomfort has increased."