Adriano Panatta, the 1976 French Open champion, believes Carlos Alcaraz would struggle to stay motivated during matches where he is the overwhelming favorite. Alcaraz, 19, has had a fantastic season thus far, becoming the second-youngest player to break into the top-5 and winning two Masters titles.
Alcaraz has defeated a number of top-10 players this season, including Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Alexander Zverev, and Stefanos Tsitsipas. Alcaraz always plays his best tennis when facing off against a top opponent.
Alcaraz unexpectedly lost to Lorenzo Musetti on Sunday in the Hamburg final, 6-4 6-7 (6) 6-4, and it was obvious that he wasn’t playing at his best. When a great player is in front of him, he gives it his all and is incredibly strong; nevertheless, when he is up against someone who is not in his physical category, on paper, he almost appears to be insulted, according to Panatta in Gazzetta dello Sport.
Alcaraz acknowledged that his tennis wasn’t at its best.
After saving five championship points in the second set, Alcaraz was able to force a third set but fell short of pulling off a significant comeback victory. Alcaraz acknowledged Musetti was the deserving winner after the defeat.
“I believe he earned the victory today. Obviously, he played better than I did “Alcaraz said after the defeat. “He was constantly acting more hostile. Even though I didn’t play my best, I fought till the very last ball, and I’m incredibly proud of that.
Despite being the overwhelming favorite in each of the matches he played in Hamburg last week, Alcaraz‘s path to the championship wasn’t always easy. Nicola Kuhn, who was ranked 250th, was defeated by Alcaraz in the first round of the Hamburg tournament when Alcaraz rallied from a set down.
Alcaraz faced difficulties in his match against Filip Krajinovic in the round of 16, but he still prevailed in that contest. Alcaraz didn’t play well against Musetti either, but this time he couldn’t avoid losing.