Carlos Alcaraz still can't believe what he's achieved in the last year.
The current No. 1 returns to action when he competes in the Canadian Open this week. Last year, Alcaraz was disappointingly knocked out in the round of 32 in Canada after blowing a set, break lead as well as match point against American Tommy Paul.
This time, Alcaraz plans on having a good run — especially after what he's achieved since his defeat to Paul.
“I remember that I [did] not [have] a good run last year in Canada,” Alcaraz told ATPTour.com. “I came this year to change it, hopefully to have a good run, better than last year. But one year later, I think I learned a lot from that situation on how to deal with the pressure, how to deal [with] everything.
“I have been playing in great stadiums in great rounds and I’m fighting for great things. I think that helped me a lot to grow up as a player, as a person, and I think one year later, I’m totally different.”
Alcaraz is certainly different.
For starters, he would go on to win the US Open and become the youngest No. 1 in history in the process. His success has only continued in 2023 as he's won six titles already, including a first-ever Wimbledon crown last month after defeating Novak Djokovic in the final.
And for the Spaniard, everything has happened at breakneck speed that he sometimes can't even believe what he's achieved.
“I know that everything came so fast,” Alvaraz said. “Great tournaments, two Grand Slams, and I’m just 20 years old. I know that I’m so young. It’s something that I worked to be in this position to fight for great things. But you never realize until you’ve done it.
“There [are] some times that I think about the last point of the US Open, the last point of Wimbledon and other great tournaments that I won and I still can’t believe it and still get goosebumps, so it’s crazy.”
The 20-year-old also wishes he had more time to soak in his accomplishments such as the Wimbledon title.
“I had just a week to think about it. I had not too much time,” he added. “And I think I needed a little bit more because it’s something that is crazy to realize. Honestly, for me, winning Wimbledon at 20 years old is something that I dreamed about when I started playing tennis. It was my fourth tournament on grass, so it was totally unexpected.
“So for me, it’s a great achievement and it’s something that I have to take some time to think about.”
Alcaraz faces the winner of the round of 64 match between Ben Shelton and Bernabe Zapata Miralles on Wednesday in Toronto, Canada.