Carlos Alcaraz after a loss: 'I was not at my best, but I still fought'

‘I was not at my best, but I still fought’

The 19-year-old Carlos Alcaraz played his first match as world no. 1 in front of the home crowd in Valencia. Carlos faced Felix Auger-Aliassime in Spain vs. Canada tie and suffered a 6-7, 6-4, 6-2 loss in two hours and 50 minutes.

The encounter came five days after Carlos’ first Major title at the US Open, and he did not feel at his best. Still, the youngster gave his everything in the opening two sets before losing ground in the second set’s closing stages.

Felix played on a high level and seized control from 4-4 in the second set to bring the victory home and keep his country in contention. Auger-Aliassime blasted 16 aces and defended all seven break chances to keep the pressure on the home star.

Carlos Alcaraz lost to Felix Auger-Aliassime in three sets.

Carlos got broken three times from the second set’s closing stages and experienced his second loss to Felix in as many encounters. The Canadian found the rhythm behind the initial shot in the first set and kept the pressure on the other side.

Carlos survived challenging games at 1-2 and 2-3 and faced an even more serious challenge at 5-6. Alcaraz saved a set point and brought the game home to introduce a tie break. World no. 1 played well and fired a forehand down the line winner at 6-3 to clinch the opener in grueling 64 minutes.

Both players served well in the second set’s opening five games before Auger-Aliassime faced a break point at 2-3. The Canadian saved it with a forehand drive-volley winner and gained a boost. Carlos sprayed a backhand mistake in the ninth game to experience the first break and push the rival in front.

Felix held at 15 in the next one with a service winner to grab the set 6-4 and introduce a decider. The Canadian broke for the second straight time at the start of the final set before facing an ultimate challenge at 2-1. Auger-Aliassime played against four break points and stayed calm to get out of jail and move 3-1 in front with a service winner.

Alcaraz paid the price in the next game, spraying a backhand mistake and falling 4-1 behind. The Canadian served for the victory at 5-2 and denied two break points with winners. Felix sealed the deal with a booming serve to celebrate the win and keep Canada in the tie.

“I think Felix played on a high level and served brutally good. I made mistakes at the end of the second set, which cost me a lot. I was not at my best physically and mentally, but I still tried my best. I was not at my 100% and will try to recover until Sunday. This is the Davis Cup, and you must give everything for your country until the last point,” Carlos Alcaraz said.

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