Carlos Alcaraz issues Wimbledon warning as he finds his feet on grass
Carlos Alcaraz fired a Wimbledon warning to his rivals after claiming he feels like he has been playing on grass for 10 years.
The 20-year-old from Spain is only playing in his third tournament on the surface at the cinch Championships, and his first other than at SW19.
But Alcaraz will take on Australian Alex De Minaur in Sunday’s final at Queen’s Club after comprehensively beating America’s Sebastian Korda 6-3 6-4.
“I’m playing great and feeling great,” he said. “I’m really happy to play my first final on grass, and even more here at Queen’s.
“I’m getting better. I’m feeling better every match I play. I feel like I’ve been playing for 10 years on grass. I didn’t expect that.”
Should Alcaraz win the title – and it would be hard to bet against him – he will overtake Novak Djokovic as world number one, and be the top seed at Wimbledon.
“Honestly at the beginning of the week I didn’t know that I could recover the number one,” he added.
“But when I won yesterday they told me and it is an extra motivation. It’s in my mind and I’m going to go for it. Being top seed and number one is a dream.”
De Minaur reached his first Queen’s final after a grass-court masterclass against Holger Rune.
The 24-year-old ‘Demon’ won 6-3 7-6 (2) to become the first Australian to make the final since Lleyton Hewitt won his fourth title in 2006.
“He’s (Hewitt) played pretty decent here over the years. He’s got a pretty good record,” smiled De Minaur.
“I think I’m a little bit far away from that, but, you know, I would love to be able to put my name on the trophy tomorrow.
“He’s been a huge mentor and he’s my Davis Cup captain, so he’s been messaging me this week as well. Hopefully I can keep it going.”
De Minaur, the Australian number one, is the boyfriend of current British number one Katie Boulter, who won her first title at the Nottingham Open last weekend.
He added: “I was probably inspired by her last week. I mean, I think she put in a hell of a performance, all things considered.
“She’s playing her home tournament, she’s British number one for the first time, she’s non-stop playing more Brits so there’s always a lot of nerves and pressure.
“She went out there, had a great week, made the final and then the biggest match of her career, she played one of the best matches I’ve ever seen her play.
“To be able to stand and deliver in that crucial point and win her first title, I was like, ‘yeah, I’ve got to watch what she’s doing and learn myself’.
“I think I have tried to replicate that a little bit this week and just be nice and calm, have a positive mindset. You know, it definitely helps. I’ve got to get a couple more tips from Katie.”