Carlos Alcaraz - Australian Open 2024

Carlos Alcaraz reveals he is ‘trying to stay away from all the noise’

Carlos Alcaraz is back at Indian Wells in a bid to defend his title, with the Spaniard revealing that ‘it’s sometimes difficult’ to keep out the noise.

Alcaraz has had a relatively mixed year so far, after reaching the quarter-finals of the Australian Open and retiring from his opening match at the Rio Open due to an ankle sprain.

And the 20-year-old has admitted that he is trying to block out any criticism, “I try to stay away from all the noises probably the people are getting on you. But it’s sometimes difficult. Sometimes it’s really tough to stay away from all of that. Sometimes it’s difficult to deal with it.

“I try to enjoy my time on the court, my time on the tournament, but sometimes the bad moments come to you and you have to deal with it. Most of the time I stay focused on myself, focused on my team and try to smile all the time and making jokes outside the court that makes me stay myself.”

Since obtaining the ankle injury in Rio de Janeiro, Alcaraz has played a Netflix special exhibition match against Rafael Nadal in Las Vegas, beating his legendary compatriot in three sets.

The Wimbledon champion has since ensured fans that he is feeling better, “I’ve been feeling well on the practice court. Probably some people are thinking about my ankle, let’s see if I’m going to stay 100 percent or not, but I’m feeling better as well. Let’s see how the tournament’s going to go. I’m here to defend and I’m not thinking about anything else but that.”

Alcaraz has a considerable amount of points to defend over the sunshine double, with rival Jannik Sinner breathing down his neck in the ATP rankings.

However, the world No.2 appears to be embracing the challenge of becoming the first man to defend the Indian Wells title since Novak Djokovic in 2016.

“I’m coming here to defend the title,” declared Alcaraz. “It’s difficult, I know. I’m here with the best tennis players in the world; some are playing great tennis this year. I know it’s gonna be really difficult, but I’m here to do it. I’m here to try and defend the title.”

After receiving a bye as the second seed, Alcaraz will play Matteo Arnaldi in the second round, after the Italian beat Luca Van Assche yesterday.

Inside the baseline…

It has been a mixed season so far for Carlos Alcaraz, but only because of the high expectations he has set for himself after such impressive results over the past few years. Hopefully Alcaraz is not returning to the ATP Tour too early with his ankle injury and can put his all into what would be an incredible title defence. It will be interesting to see how he deals with the pressure of Jannik Sinner breathing down his neck in the ATP rankings, with the Italian still unbeaten in 2024.

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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.