Carlos Alcaraz Nadal

‘He has an unbelievable future ahead of him’, says Marin Cilic after beating Carlos Alcaraz in Estoril

Marin Cilic said 17-year-old Carlos Alcaraz has “an unbelievable future ahead of him” after battling past the Spaniard at the Estoril Open on Tuesday.

Sixth seed Cilic defeated the qualifier 6-3, 1-6, 6-4 in the first round of the ATP 250 tournament after edging a third set which featured five breaks of serve.

“I’m extremely happy to be here in Portugal, in Estoril for the first time. It was a very difficult match. Carlos is a great young talent. Definitely he’s got an unbelievable future ahead of him,” the 32-year-old said in his on-court interview.

“I was extremely happy to win after dropping the second set. He played really well. I was a break up in the third set and he broke back. In the end it was just a couple points that made the difference in the match.”

The world No. 42 – a former US Open champion – will face Portuguese qualifier Nuno Borges in the second round on Wednesday.

The Croatian added: “At this point for me, it’s important that I focus on myself just to try to play my good game.

“Obviously I’ll try to play some tactics, what I can during the match. But definitely it will be important for me to serve good, to still play my own game.”