Alcaraz opens up after reaching Indian Wells semis

The Spaniard defeated Canadian Auger-Aliassime to reach the final four

By Web Desk
March 17, 2023
Alcaraz will lock horns with Jannik Sinner in semi-final — AFP

Carlos Alcaraz wants to follow in the footsteps of Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic by winning titles immediately after coming back from injury, with the world number two closing in on the Indian Wells crown with his win over Felix Auger-Aliassime on Thursday.

Alcaraz was out for than three months out due to abdominal and hamstring injuries but made a resounding comeback by winning in Buenos Aires last month.

The Spaniard defeated Canadian Auger-Aliassime to reach the final four of Indian Wells on Thursday, weeks after pulling out of an ATP 500 event in Acapulco with a strained hamstring.

"I look to the big players, Djokovic or Rafa, when they are coming from an injury and probably they have a great percentage to win the tournament after an injury," the 19-year-old told reporters.

"I looked at them a little bit when I was injured, you know, training. They motivated me to play a good game after an injury in the first tournaments.

"I was surprised when I won Buenos Aires, but right now, I'm not surprised at it."

Alcaraz will lock horns with Jannik Sinner, just over six months since defeating the Italian at the U.S. Open quarter-finals en route to winning his maiden Grand Slam title.

"I enjoyed that match, because I had to be really, really focused in every shot. I had to play my best," Alcaraz said.

"That's why Jannik is such a great player. Not only with great serve, great movements, it is because he pushes the opponent to the limit. Tries to play aggressive with great shots.

"For the opponent it is really tough to be focused mentally and physically during the whole match. That's what I love playing against him, that it pushes me to the limit."

The other semi-final berths were decided on Wednesday, when Daniil Medvedev — chasing a fourth straight ATP title after victories at Rotterdam, Doha and Dubai — beat Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain to set up a clash with American Frances Tiafoe.