APRIL 21 - MAY 4, 2025

Carlos Alcaraz: “Any stat that puts me on a par with Rafa is a good sign”

At last year’s Mutua Madrid Open, the Murcia native became the only man – along with Rafa Nadal – to have successfully defended his title in the Manolo Santana Stadium. This time around, he will be bidding to do something unprecedented – win three crowns on the trot. Before stepping up to the plate, though, Carlos Alcaraz gave an interview about his experiences at the tournament.


You arrive at the Caja Mágica having won your last 11 matches here.

Why does playing here suit you so well?

Playing in Madrid is playing at home. It’s a very special and amazing fortnight. I’m lucky because I have a lot of support when I play overseas, anywhere in the world, but the support I get here is incomparable. I’d say because of my style of play the altitude in Madrid benefits me. I really like playing here.


What’s special about playing in the Manolo Santana Stadium?

Apart from being a court that bears the name of a legend of our sport, the pioneer, I would say it has to be the people. As I said before, the fans in Madrid are amazing, I feel like they carry me through the matches.


Your overall record at the tournament is 12-1, of all those wins, which is the most special?

It’s difficult to choose one. In 2022, when I won the title for the first time, I played Nadal, Djokovic and Zverev consecutively. That wasn’t bad… Last year I struggled in my opener against Ruusuvuori and the final against Struff was also tough.

And the most difficult?

Definitely against Rafa or Novak in 2022. Because of everything it means, playing against Rafa in Madrid is a huge challenge.

Is there anything you would like to get back from that Carlos Alcaraz who won his first match in the Caja Mágica at 17 years of age against Mannarino?

Not much has changed actually. I’m still the same person, the same kid, even though I’ve had a lot of success in recent years. Maybe his youth, but I’m still very young [laughs].


Last year, you became the only man, along with Rafa Nadal, to successfully defend a Mutua Madrid Open title. What does that mean to you?

It means a lot. Any stat that puts me on a par with Rafa is a good sign because he’s achieved everything you can in the world of tennis. Defending the title in Madrid is a very difficult task.


They say that the difficult part is not getting there, but staying there. What has to happen to win the same trophy in consecutive years?

Many things. Being fit, playing well, enduring the pressure of being the defending champion…


How do you see your chances of being the first person to win three straight titles?

It’s not something I’m thinking about right now. At the moment I just want to enjoy the tournament, prepare well and give my all from the first match. Then we’ll see if we can go a long way.


What do you like most about playing in Madrid?

The tournament, centre court, the fans… I’d say I like everything!


What does this tournament allow you to do that you can’t do at others?

Having the option of being accompanied by my family and friends who can’t travel during the year, as well as seeing a lot of people who come to the Caja Mágica that fortnight. And, of course, the food. The food is special at home.


In the Caja Mágica you became the first player to beat Nadal and Djokovic on consecutive days on clay. How do you do something like that?

There are no secrets. It’s a question of trying to play your best tennis and trusting yourself so that things go well.


This year you also became the player with the second most ATP Masters 1000 trophies before the age of 21, surpassing Djokovic and only behind Nadal. What do these records mean to you?

It means that we’re doing things right, but I don’t actually pay much attention to that. There will come a time to analyse and evaluate what I’ve done in my career.


You already have more ATP Masters 1000 titles than your coach, Juan Carlos Ferrero. Have you bragged to him about this?

Occasionally [laughs]. No, I’m kidding. We don’t tend to talk about that much, apart from joking around.


What would you say is the most important thing Ferrero has given you in recent years to get to where you are now?

His experience is a factor that makes a difference. Juanki has experienced thousands of situations. He can step into my sh