Carlos Alcaraz admits that he was left ‘sad’ with his level on Wednesday after losing to lower-ranked opponent Alexander Zverev at the Australian Open.
The second-seed crashed out in the quarter-finals to the German world No.6 in a result which means Novak Djokovic is guaranteed to keep his world No.1 ranking.
Alcaraz had been hoping to renew his rivalry with Djokovic following their epic Wimbledon final last year as well as battles in Cincinnati and at the ATP Finals.
The 20-year-old is not too downbeat about his defeat in the last eight, though, and played down the absence of his coach Juan Carlos Ferrero, who is back in Spain recovering from knee surgery.
‘It has been a good tournament for me, making quarter-finals, playing good tennis,’ two-time Grand Slam champion Alcaraz said in his press conference.
‘I’m sad with my level today, because I have been playing good tennis, the round before this one with a lot of confidence. Serving pretty well.
‘But in general I leave the tournament happy. Forgetting about today’s level. Obviously quarter-final of a grand slam is good. It’s not what I’m looking for, but it’s not bad.
‘It’s a shame that I started the match like the way that I did and ending the way that I did. But it’s tennis.
‘It didn’t affect me at all [having coach Juan Carlos Ferrero absent]. As I said, I was playing great tennis without him.
‘I had Samuel [Lopez], that is a pretty good coach as well. I trust him 100 per cent.’
Meanwhile, Alcaraz has warned Djokovic that Jannik Sinner, Daniil Medvedev and Zverev are all capable of denying him a historic 25th Grand Slam singles title.
‘All the other three players in the semi-finals have the level to beat Novak,’ the Spaniard added.
‘But it’s not easy. Sinner is playing unbelievable, yet to drop a set. Had the capacity to beat Novak. I’m gonna watch the matches, of course.’