Carlos Alcaraz - US Open 2023

Carlos Alcaraz claims he ‘didn’t feel well’ in early Paris Masters defeat to qualifier

Carlos Alcaraz has admitted that he ‘has to improve a lot’ ahead of the ATP Finals, after losing his first match at the Paris Masters to qualifier Roman Safiullin.

Alcaraz was beaten, 3-6 4-6, by the world No.45 to crash out in the second round of the final Masters 1000 event of the year, despite being a break up in both sets.

The Spaniard had missed the Swiss Indoors in Basel last week due to a problem with the plantar fascia in his left foot and muscle fatigue in his lower back.

However, he was quick to dismiss any injury concerns following his Paris defeat, “Not at all. I just didn’t feel well, you know, on the court. A lot of things to improve, a lot of things to practice.

“You know, I didn’t feel well, you know, in the game. I think I didn’t move well. In the shots, I think I had a good quality of shots. But, you know, physically in the part of movement, I have to improve a lot.”

Alcaraz has been unable to win a title since his historic Wimbledon triumph, and he has reflected on why this could be, “Probably the season has been so, so long. Probably that affects my game. But I don’t know. I think this tournament has a lot of surprise.

He continued, “I don’t know, because if it’s, you know, the end of the season, players are tired, no? But talking about myself, I don’t know, honestly. I have to figure out and I’ll try to the next years to be better in this part of the year.”

The 20-year-old obtained an injury at the Paris Masters last year that prevented him from making his debut at the ATP Finals, but Alcaraz has ruled out that happening again.

“I have time before the ATP Finals, a lot of days of practice to be able to reach that level, the level that I want to play,” said Alcaraz.

“But right now I’m not in the right time to talk. Honestly after the loss, I have to take some time, you know, before thinking about the next days, you know, and the days that what I have to do or what I’m gonna do, you know. But, obviously before the ATP Finals begun, we have time.”

Alcaraz has two weeks before making his debut at the ATP Finals in Turin, that begin on Sunday 12th November.

Inside the baseline…

In relative terms, it has been a difficult past month for Alcaraz, who has not been able to capitalise on Novak Djokovic’s absence from the ATP Tour. As a consequence, it has really put his rival in the driver’s seat for a record eighth time as year-end No.1, and the Serb can all but confirm it with a title in Paris-Bercy.

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Carlos Alcaraz since Wimbledon

Alcaraz has gone six consecutive tournaments without a title, and we at Tennishead wanted to compare his recent form to throughout the rest of 2023:

Alcaraz’s overall win-loss record: 63-10 (86%)

Win-loss record up to and including Wimbledon title: 47-4 (92%)

Win-loss record since winning Wimbledon: 16-6 (73%)


Alcaraz defeats since winning Wimbledon:

Toronto (ATP 1000) – Lost in the quarter-final to Tommy Paul (12), 3-6 6-4 3-6

Cincinnati (ATP 1000) – Lost in the final to Novak Djokovic (2), 7-5 6(7)-7 6(4)-7

US Open (Grand Slam) – Lost in the semi-final to Daniil Medvedev (3), 6(3)-7 1-6 6-3 3-6

Beijing (ATP 500) – Lost in the semi-final to Jannik Sinner (6), 6(4)-7 1-6

Shanghai (ATP 1000) – Lost in the fourth round to Grigor Dimitrov (18), 7-5 2-6 4-6

Paris (ATP 1000) – Lost in the second round to Roman Safiullin (Q), 3-6 4-6

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.