After the Wimbledon title, an olympic desire for Alcaraz: doubles with Nadal in Paris 2024
LONDON – The Wimbledon champion says he is looking forward to going back to his hometown and walking downtown. He is sure it will take him longer to get to his destination, but that’s okay, because he wants to give back to the people the love they give him. He says what he gets from fans is “necessary” for each of his victories.
“When I have days off I propose to my friends go to the supermarket and buy some rice and hamburgers to make at home. The others stand up and tell me to stay, but I insist: ‘Hey I’m going with you guys, I want things to be natural,'” the Spaniard told La Vanguardia.
The day after making history at the All England Club, Alcaraz received the Spanish media at his house in London, the place he rented for three weeks. In a more intimate atmosphere, the only men’s champion in London not named Federer, Nadal, Djokovic or Murray, spoke candidly and more calmly about the title of his dreams, how he feels his daily life ahead of him, and the goals to be achieved.
Sergio Heredia, the Catalan newspaper’s special envoy to London, asked him if fame and glory will not keep him away from the world. If he won’t fly in a private jet while others carry his suitcases.
“I’m having the opportunity to travel from time to time on private planes, on flights with my people. But sometimes I feel embarrassed to put myself in those situations where they carry my suitcase, when I can carry it myself. Or those players that I see that the coach carries their racquet bag…. Until recently, I myself took the racqets to the stringer and picked them up. Those details make a person humble, down to earth,” said Alcaraz.
The world number one wants to be considered one of the best in history in the long run. He wants his achievements to be as important as those of the Big Three. “I have always said it, it may be that this goal is too big, too ambitious or that they think I’m arrogant, but in the end in this life you have to think and dream big, and you have to go for it,” he confessed to Alejandro Ciriza of El País.
And to go that far, he has to learn quickly from his mistakes. He already did with the unforced error in Paris, when nerves caused cramps against Djokovic in the French Open semis. Lesson learned and overcome at the next Grand Slam. He once said that after winning in New York he got a bit clueless and confused. Will he correct this time the mistakes he made after winning a Grand Slam?
“I have learned my lesson. Every time something happens to me that shouldn’t have happened, I learn so I can be prepared for the next time and so it doesn’t happen again. I don’t think it will happen to me again at the US Open because that lesson has already been learned in my head”, he told the Madrid newspaper.
In a conversation with COPE radio, Alcaraz revealed that Paris helped him, especially after losing the first set of the final 6-1: “Living those experiences helps you. Unconsciously your head thinks ‘I’ve already lived these nerves’ and it helps me to manage. I handled myself much better mentally.”
And after that very bad first set, rather than worrying about making changes to win the title, more he wanted to raise the level of the show. “I said to myself ‘Charly’, try to do something to make the final entertaining for the spectators’,” he told Angel Garcia with the replica of the golden trophy on his arms.
Djokovic’s compliments and dreams doubles with Nadal
Novak Djokovic said he had never faced anyone like Alcaraz. A product cured during the most glorious era in the history of tennis. The Serb, said the Spaniard “has the best of all three worlds,” referring to his qualities and those of Federer and Nadal.
“Those are big words. Djokovic played with great legends in his career, and for him to say that he hasn’t faced anyone like me is a great compliment. I guess I have some of Nadal’s mental strength and level of defense. Mentally, I think he’s a hell of a lot better than anybody, myself included. And Federer’s strokes, the way I come to the net, the volleys, that creativity. And Djokovic’s physical level, his elasticity, the way he slides…”, said Alcaraz, who sees the Serb and the Italian Jannik Sinner as his main rivals in the time to come.
“Don’t forget that the other year returns a guy from Manacor who will also give you battles, I think,” Garcia told him in COPE. “Man, without any doubt Rafa will be there. Hopefully I can play against him again,” replied Alcaraz, with his traditional smile. By the way, the 14-time Roland Garros champion wrote to him before the Wimbledon final to send him good luck.
More than the desire to face him again, it will be to have him on the same side of the court, when he has the opportunity to represent Spain next year at the Olympic Games.
“It would be a dream. Not only to win a medal at singles or doubles, but just to live the experience of living a doubles with Nadal would be a memory that I would keep with special affection.”