10:16 AM GMT February 15, 2021
Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz says he has learned a lot from his first Grand Slam championship appearance at the Australian Open. The 17-year-old #NextGenATP Spanish star lost to Sweden’s Mikael Ymer 2-6, 6-4, 6-4, 7-6(5) on Thursday.
“It was a tough day for me," said Alcaraz. "I never like to lose. I learned from this match that I didn’t manage my nerves [well]. I lost control of my serve, and I think for the next tournament I will try to be focused all the time. [I] won't complain and I think I have to do better when the things are not going [my] way.
"In the first set when he broke my serve, I think I complained too much. Then I broke his serve in the next game, but in that moment I wanted to win the point [with] one ball. I didn't want to play the point, and I think at this level you have to want to play every point, especially in the tough moments. He played a really good game, and he was better than me in those moments.”
Ymer, who will next play fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in the third round at Melbourne Park, was full of praise for Alcaraz after their match.
“I think he plays very good tennis,” said Ymer. “But what made me more impressed was that at this age he [is] committed to his game style, no matter the score, even if he was down, even if he was up, break point down, tie-break.
“I think he has a big possibility to be the future of our sport. Not only to be a very good tennis player. My first impression is that he's a very nice guy. So I think he will be one of these players that the kids are really going to look up to and have as a big role model.”
Alcaraz, who was barely inside the Top 500 of the FedEx ATP Rankings at the start of 2020, is currently at No. 141. He leaves Melbourne with fond memories, having played aggressively in his first major championship victory on Tuesday when he dispatched fellow qualifier Botic Van de Zandschulp 6-1, 6-4, 6-4.
The Spaniard, who began playing tennis aged four, has worked with former World No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero for the past four years.