Carlos Alcaraz received a loud reception on Wednesday evening at the Pala Alpitour in Turin, where he won the ATP No. 1 Trophy awarded by Pepperstone. The 19-year-old is the youngest player in history to receive the award.
“It means a lot to me,” said Alcaraz. “To get this trophy, the number 1 in the world, to be part of tennis history, along with many legends, for me [it] it’s a great feeling.”
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The Spaniard was due to make his Nitto ATP Finals debut this week, but had to pull out due to an internal oblique muscle tear in his left abdominal wall. He was still happy to soak up the atmosphere of the season finale in Turin.
“I’m a little disappointed that I can’t play in the Nitto here [ATP] Final. I really wanted to play here,” said Alcaraz. “These things can happen in tennis life. But… at the same time I am very grateful to be able to win this great trophy. It’s a great achievement. All the hard work pays off. It’s incredible for me to win this trophy today.”
Alcaraz is fully focused on rehabilitation to be in top form for the start of the 2023 season. The year-end world number 1 gave a positive update on his status on Wednesday.
“[My recovery is] going really well. It also goes very fast. I am really focused on recovering as soon as possible,” said Alcaraz. “But I can say that in a week we have improved a lot in the injury. I’m going to say at the start of the season: I’m going to be ready, I’m going to be 100 per cent.”
Carlos Alcaraz” />
Photo credit: Corinne Dubreuil/TBEN
Alcaraz added: “The first weeks after the injury, [it] is really important to [not] stop. That’s what I did in the week and a half I spent, it was with a lot of movement.”
The winner of this year’s US Open and of the ATP Masters 1000 titles in Miami and Madrid is enjoying a vacation “to disconnect a bit, to rest”. But soon he will turn his attention to the preseason.
Until then, Alcaraz has his sights set on the Nitto ATP Finals, where the prestigious Brad Drewett Trophy is up for grabs.
“Of course I watched the games, not all of them, but a lot. I watch it from home. I mean, I always want to see great matches, great level. So with these players here, it’s 100 percent,” Alcaraz said. “Here in the game, great shots, great rallies. I like to watch these kinds of games. Now that Rafa is here, of course I support him. I root for Spanish players. But I advocate great tennis.