Grounded Carlos Alcaraz keeping his eye on the prize after US Open win

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Alcaraz has enjoyed a somewhat meteoric rise to tennis stardom, having made his ATP main-draw debut in February 2020. Nearly three years later, the Spaniard has racked up over $9 million in prize money, won his maiden Grand Slam title and ascended to the top of the world rankings. At just 19-years-old, one may ask "well, where to from here?" for the youngster. But Alcaraz seemingly has a wise head on his shoulders and is focusing on what got him to this point in the first place: his passion for tennis.

"You are a certain way before you reach No. 1 and become a Grand Slam champion, so why change that?" the Murcia native told atptour.com.

"You have to do what you have been doing, feel comfortable with what you do, enjoy yourself, be happy on court, play tennis - and that is what I'm going to do. That's the secret for me. To try and forget everything else and enjoy playing tennis." Part of stoking that desire is to have proper downtime, a mental space which Alcaraz is currently enjoying. "I want to take a few days to not think about tennis, just enjoy being with my people, my friends and my family," he continued. "Right now, I want to try and be a normal guy and be with my friends, which is what I feel like doing most." As for the rest of Alcaraz's season, there are four possible ATP 500 events to attend before the Rolex Paris Masters, the precursor to the season-ending finale at the Nitto ATP Finals. Now that he's at the top, Alcaraz admitted he wants to work to stay there as long as he can. "I have several tournaments before the ATP Finals and we're going to give it our all," confirmed Alcaraz. "I have several important tournaments and one goal is to try and win the ATP Finals. One of my goals is to finish [the year] as No. 1. Now that I've got there, my goal is to stay as many days, weeks and months as possible. We're going to work for that."

Taken in the context of the recent retirement of the legendary Roger Federer, Alcaraz's humbleness and will to graft is refreshing. With an attitude like that, the future of men's tennis will be in safe hands...

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