Toronto (Reuters): Carlos Alcaraz said he needs to have more confidence in his game following Friday’s surprise defeat by American Tommy Paul in the quarter-finals of the Canadian Open, and the world number one is hoping to iron out any issues in Cincinnati next week.
Wimbledon champion Alcaraz made a slow start for the third straight match in Toronto and fell to a 6-3 4-6 6-3 defeat – his first since the French Open semi-finals in June – with the loss a blow to his preparations ahead of the U.S. Open.
“I realise that I didn’t play well, these matches,” Alcaraz told reporters after losing to Paul for a second straight year in Canada. “All I can do now is practice to be better. I have some weeks before the U.S. Open.
“But now I have to be focussed on Cincinnati. It’s a Masters 1000. It’s a big tournament as well. Obviously, I take a lot of lessons from this tournament.
“I think I did well some things, but probably everything can be better. I always say you can be better in everything even if you’ve played your best matches in your career.
“But right now, I have to improve a lot of things, getting more confidence in my game.”
Alcaraz could meet Paul again in the Cincinnati third round after slipping to 1-2 in their head-to-head-meetings and the 20-year-old is aware of the threat the American poses in the last warm-up tournament before the U.S. Open from Aug. 28 to Sept. 10.
“He’s certainly a complete player. The matches that we’ve played have been really tough ones – last year in Miami and this one,” reigning Flushing Meadows champion Alcaraz said. “He’s a really solid player. Has great talent, great shots. He’s really fast as well.
“So he’s one of the best players in the world right now. There’s no doubt about it. He’s really tough on every surface. He’s a mix of everything. It makes him really tough.”