Carlos Alcaraz makes ‘pressure’ prediction ahead of Monte Carlo after ATP Rankings slip

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Carlos Alcaraz has said there will not be any “different pressure” on him at the Monte Carlo Masters despite having been usurped by Jannik Sinner in the ATP Rankings.

Alcaraz is the only man to have beaten Sinner this season – on his way to a successful defence of his Indian Wells title – but with that being his only tournament victory so far in 2024, the Spaniard is now down to third in the world.

While that is by no means a disaster, it does mean that he has been drawn in the same half as Novak Djokovic in Monte Carlo, with the Serbian and Sinner the top two seeds at the upcoming Masters 1000 event.

Alcaraz could well return to world No 2 with a strong run at the tournament, especially considering Sinner has semi-final points to defend from 12 months ago.

But despite the tough draw handed to him, Alcaraz admitted that there would be no change in his expectations approaching the event.

He said: “Being No 1 or No 2 is great, but just one position down does not change too much.

“I know the players in front of me deserve this position so I have to work to recover this. I don’t play with different pressure being No 2 or No 3.”

Clay has been the most successful surface of Alcaraz’s career in terms of the number of titles won, with seven of his 13 ATP titles coming on the dirt.

Monte Carlo has not previously been a happy hunting ground for him, withdrawing from the event twice – including last year – and losing his only match at the tournament in 2022.

But Alcaraz believes it will not take him too long to find his feet at the event, revealing that his early practices on clay had been encouraging.

“I had a few days off after Miami and started playing on clay a little bit,” added the Spaniard.

“I don’t take too many days to play at my best on the surface, so the practise I have done on clay was very good, so hopefully I start the tournament in a good way.

“I am really happy to be here in Monte-Carlo. It is a really beautiful tournament. I watched this tournament many times since I was a little kid.

I just played once. It didn’t go well in 2022 but I am really excited to start the tournament here and see how it is going to be. I am really happy about it.

“Hopefully I [have] a good run here, make the final rounds.”

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