Carlos Alcaraz has said he is “not afraid” to admit he is ready to win a Grand Slam as he goes for glory at the French Open this month.
The second major of the year starts on May 22, and the Spanish 19-year-old is the second favourite to win the men’s singles title – narrowly behind defending champion Novak Djokovic but ahead of compatriot Rafael Nadal.
Alcaraz has emerged as a contender after winning the Madrid Open last month, beating Nadal, Djokovic and then Alexander Zverev in the final of the ATP 1000 event.
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Having also won in Rio de Janeiro and Barcelona on clay this year, Alcaraz is in bullish mood ahead of his bid to win a first major.
“I’m not afraid to say that I’m ready to win a Grand Slam,” he told Argentina’s La Nacion.
“Physically I feel very well. I am mentally strong. I am a strong player and in the end that is what it takes to win a Grand Slam.
“Now the level is accompanying me. I feel good and quite confident. It’s a host of things that can throw me up and I’m not afraid to say I’m ready to do it.”
Alcaraz is the world No. 6 heading to Roland-Garros, meaning he could collide with Nadal in the last eight and Djokovic in the semis – depending on the draw.
It is telling of the teenager’s rise that a maiden Grand Slam is not out of the question in Paris, but Alcaraz stressed he is “clear” about his goals – predominantly becoming the best player in the world.

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“I have to thank my family and my team, who are always telling me what I have to do, what is good for me and what is not so good,” he added.
“In the end, I want my whims, I want my things and many times they are not ideal right now. So that’s when my team and my family come in to tell me: ‘Wait a bit, don’t be in such a hurry, go little by little’, and so on.
“I am also a guy who is quite clear about things. I am clear about my goal, I am clear about my dream, which is to be No. 1 in the world and no matter how many tournaments come, no matter how many things come right now, I still haven’t managed to be No. 1.
"It helps me to be with my feet on the soil to continue trying to fulfil my dreams.”
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