Carlos Alcaraz ‘didn’t feel well’ as Spaniard explains surprise early Paris exit

Carlos Alcaraz has explained that he “didn’t feel well” on the court during his surprise 6-3, 6-4 defeat to world No 45 Roman Safiullin in the second round of the Paris Masters. The Wimbledon champion had received a bye in the first round and questions will be raised after a disappointing performance against his Russian opponent.

Alcaraz now has a difficult task on his hands to usurp Novak Djokovic to top spot in the rankings before the end of the year, but having played professionally for the first time in three weeks Alcaraz was below his usual high standards.

The Spanish star was a break up in each set but failed to take advantage, though he refused to blame a physical problem for his performance.

“Not at all,” Alcaraz replied when asked if he had an injury concern. “I just didn’t feel well, you know, on the court. A lot of things to improve, a lot of things to practice. You know, I didn’t feel well, you know, in the game. I think I didn’t move well. In the shots, I think I had a good quality of shots. But, you know, physically in the part of movement, I have to improve a lot.”

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Alcaraz had pulled out of the Swiss Indoors in Basel due to foot and back injuries though failed to place the blame on those issues. He lost at the quarter-finals stage of the Paris Masters last year to eventual winner Holger Rune and the previous edition crashed out in the third round, but was unsure of why he has been unsuccessful in France’s capital.

“Probably the season has been so, so long,” he said. “Probably that affects my game. But I don’t know. I think this tournament has a lot of surprise. I don’t know, because if it’s, you know, the end of the season, players are tired, no? But talking about myself, I don’t know, honestly. I have to figure out and I’ll try to the next years to be better in this part of the year.”

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Despite feeling the effects of a long season, Alcaraz played down the suggestion that he could skip the ATP Finals in Turin this month.

“I have time before the ATP Finals, a lot of days of practice to be able to reach that level, the level that I want to play,” he continued.

“But right now I’m not in the right time to talk. Honestly after the loss, I have to take some time, you know, before thinking about the next days, you know, and the days that what I have to do or what I’m gonna do, you know. But obviously before the ATP Finals begun, we have time.”

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