Shanghai Masters top seed Carlos Alcaraz said Thursday he was ready for the tournament and would change what he did wrong in Beijing, where he crashed out of the China Open this week.
The world number two said he had been “out of my mind” during his semi-final match against Jannik Sinner in the Chinese capital, which the Italian won 7-6 (7/4), 6-1.
Asked on Thursday how he would avoid cracking under pressure again in Shanghai, where he is the favourite in Novak Djokovic’s absence, the 20-year-old said he had to “do my homework”.
“I have just one day to practise and then the tournament is going to start, but… I feel ready, and I’ll change what I did wrong in Beijing,” he told reporters at a press conference.
Sinner went on to claim the China Open title, and could well end up facing Alcaraz again in Shanghai.
“I wasn’t surprised at all,” the Spaniard said of Sinner’s win. “I know the capacity of Jannik. I know his level. He’s one of the best in the world right now and he can beat anyone.”
It is Alcaraz’s first time at the Shanghai Masters, with the event called off for the last three years because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It’s a tournament that I really wanted to play since I started playing the tour, so I’m really excited… It’s great to learn from new experiences like this one,” he said.
Alcaraz beat top-rated Djokovic in a memorable Wimbledon final in July and is looking to close the gap on the Serbian at the top of the rankings with strong performances in China.
He said Thursday that he was learning from his failures every day.
“I’m thinking about the number one, being able to earn the number one. For me, that’s the main goal for right now to the end of the season,” he said.
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