Carlos Alcaraz has admitted he is a ‘little surprised’ about his rapid rise up the tennis rankings after winning two Masters 1000 titles earlier this year.
Alcaraz broke into the top 100 in May 2021 and, 12 months later, won the Miami Open and Madrid Open as he reached world No. 6.
His run to the Madrid Open title included wins against Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic to become the first player to beat both players in back-to-back matches on clay.
He was one of the favourites to win the French Open in May, only to be knocked out by Alexander Zverev in the quarter-finals.
“The truth is that a little, yes,” Alcaraz told Puntodelbreak when asked about whether he was surprised by his rise up the ATP rankings.
“I have had surprising results this year, I did not expect to evolve as fast as I did, but I work for it.
“As I always say, hard work pays off, although in my case it was all a bit quick and surprising.”
The 19-year-old has been compared to a young Nadal and could take the mantle of his compatriot when the 22-time Grand Slam singles champion retires.
Alcaraz has said he ignores any expectations people put on him and solely focuses on himself.
“I know what my goals are, I don’t think too much about the pressure that comes from outside,” continued Alcaraz.
“I try to keep learning, keep adding experiences and always try to give my best version in each game. I feel that I play for myself, for my team and my family, I don’t focus on the expectations that people may have. I just push it away.”
Alcaraz’s meteoric rise in men’s tennis means he has a chance of playing in the ATP Finals in Turin, which take place on November 13-20.
The event sees the top eight men’s players in the world come together in the season-ending tournament. It’s something Alcaraz is targeting ahead of the US Open, which begins on August 29.
“It would be a good goal, but right now my thoughts are not on the ranking, but on reaching the ATP Finals in Turin at the end of the season,” said Alcaraz.
“For me, the ranking isn’t the most important thing right now, although I’m fighting to continue winning games and winning tournaments, as that is what will lead me to continue climbing.”