APRIL 21 - MAY 4, 2025

Alcaraz continues to progress, despite bowing out to Rublev

Carlos Alcaraz will not dispute another Mutua Madrid Open semi-final this year after losing 6-4, 3-6, 2-6 to Andrey Rublev in the quarters.

Although he was the epitome of concentration in set one, aware of the magnitude of the challenge of toppling a Top 10 player, in the second and third sets he was perhaps not focused enough to see off his opponent, as he mentioned in his press conference. “Maybe today I was weaker mentally than at other times. I was complaining a bit more. It really hurts to have opportunities and not be able to take them, particularly when it’s my fault. When I don’t take them because of stupid mistakes, which are unnecessary, I’m harsh on myself. Someone like Andrey gives you few opportunities and when you make unforced errors, it hurts. I should have been stronger mentally and maybe that took its toll today”.

When he arrived at the event, the Spaniard was still feeling slight discomfort in his forearm and his goal was to gradually build his confidence in it. His lack of match time eventually caught up with him, as he explained. “I have to keep working. Every time I’ve hit the ball here I’ve thought about my forearm, if I’m going to feel it or not. I have to work hard for the next few days if I want to arrive in Rome feeling good, pain free and not thinking about it. It’ll be a long process. Right now, as I leave, my forearm feels good but I still have work to do”.

Another aspect that may have influenced the outcome of the match, was dealing with negative emotions in adversity. In the preceding months he mentioned several times that it is one of his long-term projects. It is something he is trying to improve on every day. “I reached No. 1 because of the joy in my game, because I didn’t place importance on certain moments but now I’m maturing, I’m growing and maybe I’m placing importance on things that I shouldn’t, for better or worse. I need to have that freshness in my game, but maybe now I deal with things mentally in a different way. Hopefully it’s for the better”.

In general terms, taking into account Alcaraz’s inactivity and his fitness setbacks, the result should only be seen as progress in his clay season. The player from El Palmar is aware of the advances he is making. “It’s been a positive week, one day before starting I didn’t know if I would play. We went deep and we’ve played great matches at a good level. Overall it was a very, very good week. I arrived here without having picked up a racket, the first day hitting it kind of normally was with Medvedev before I started. Losing to Rublev in the quarters is a positive week, although obviously when I’m on court I don’t like to lose”.

Asked about his presence in the Italian capital, the Spaniard declared “I’ll decide in the coming days, but I think I’ll be OK to play in Rome”.