Alcaraz has 'confidence' to win Grand Slam despite Zverev defeat

·2-min read

Carlos Alcaraz said on Tuesday he "has the confidence" to win a Grand Slam tournament soon despite his French Open quarter-final defeat by Alexander Zverev.

The 19-year-old Spaniard slipped to a 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (9/7) loss to the German third seed as he was beaten for just the second time this season on clay.

He had been hoping to become the first teenage winner of a men's major title since Rafael Nadal in Paris in 2005.

"I have to take the lesson. I mean, I have to improve to the next Grand Slam or next matches," said Alcaraz.

"But I would say I'm not far away to reach a semi-final or be able to win a Grand Slam.

"Just take the lesson, in these kind of matches. I would say I have the level, I have the confidence to win a Grand Slam or pass through to the semi-final next time."

Alcaraz has risen to sixth in the ATP rankings this season by winning a tour-high four titles, including two Masters 1,000 trophies.

He paid for a slow start against Zverev as he made 32 unforced errors across the first two sets, but said he was "proud" after threatening a dramatic comeback.

"I would say I finished the match playing better," added Alcaraz.

"I leave the court, leave the tournament with the head very high. I fight until the last ball. I fought until the last second of the match, and I'm proud of it."

- Grand Slam duck -

Zverev said he "is at the stage where he wants to win" a first Slam title.

The 25-year-old has lost three of his previous four Grand Slam last-four matches and was beaten by Dominic Thiem in the 2020 US Open final.

"I said a lot of times I'm not 21 years old anymore... I'm at the stage where I want to win," said Zverev, who has won 19 titles on the ATP Tour.

"I'm at the stage where I'm supposed to win, as well."

Zverev, who saved a match point against Argentina's Sebastian Baez in the second round, will face either reigning champion Novak Djokovic or Nadal on Friday for a place in the final.

"Next I have either the world number one or the 13-time champion here, so it's not getting any easier," he added, before going on to praise his vanquished opponent.

"He's one of the best players in the world right now. I knew I'd have to be at my best from the very first point and not let him get ahead and gain confidence."

jc/dj

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