THE MODERATOR: I know this is not the result you were hoping for, but a very good fight, very good tournament for you. What do you take away from all this?
CARLOS ALCARAZ: Well, it has been a tough match. But yeah, I mean, I was playing against Rafa. I think it was a close match. I leave the tournament happy. I left the court happy with the level, with the performance.
I mean, first time he destroy me. Now we played third set. I have more close to play against Rafa. I’m really happy.
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Can you explain what it was like to play that match with the atmosphere, the points that you played, but also how difficult the conditions were.
CARLOS ALCARAZ: Well, the conditions was tough, no? In the second set, a lot of windy. We survive. I think it wasn’t a tennis match in the second set.
Well, the atmosphere was amazing. In the third set we played really good tennis, I think both part.
In the first set I had to be more calm. I played really nervous. But, yeah, I learn from this. I mean, in the next time I will play more calm, more relax. If you are playing with Rafa, you have to be calm, you have to think well in the tough moments. That’s what I learned in this match.
Q. How satisfying is it after when you played him last year and you won three games? You pushed him 3 hours and 12 minutes.
CARLOS ALCARAZ: I think my level were up. Yeah, I’m feeling really comfortable on this court. I mean, now I think I’m more mature than the last year. Now I know how to play against these kind of players. I played a lot of matches, I mean, against great players. Second time against Rafa. I feel like I’m part of that level. I am part of these kind of players. I think I’m going to play against Rafa or the best players this year a lot.
Yeah, as I said yesterday, this is going to be a different match than the first one. Now I think that I’m ready for the others.
Q. There was a lot of excitement about this match. What did you feel from the crowd out there?
CARLOS ALCARAZ :Well, obviously most of the crowd was with Rafa. But really happy with the crowd. I mean, there were a lot of guys behind me, supporting me. That was amazing for me.
I mean, I knew, as I said, most of the crowd were with Rafa and cheering up Rafa. But I was a little bit surprised with a lot of crowd cheer me up. I’m really happy.
Q. In the last year what is it you’ve learned that helped you become more competitive with these kind of players?
CARLOS ALCARAZ: I think last year were a lot of first times for me. I mean, first win in a Grand Slam, first Masters 1000. A lot of first times. Now I played more matches against top-10 players, big matches in big stadiums. I think now I’m more mature. I know how to control myself, the emotions.
Now I know is my level, know how to play against these kind of players. That’s the most important, know your level and what you have to do.
Q. Is this the most fun you’ve had in a match that you lost?
CARLOS ALCARAZ: Probably (smiling). Yeah, I think a couple of times when I were losing, I smile a little bit for some points, unbelievable points from Rafa. I think I enjoy. I enjoy the match even though I lost (smiling).
Q. I haven’t seen that many of your matches, but have you ever broken a racquet in anger?
CARLOS ALCARAZ: Of course. When I was younger, when I was young, I broke a lot of racquets. I didn’t control myself. But now is one of the important things in tennis: control yourself, control the emotions.
Yeah, but I broke a lot of racquets when I was young (smiling).
Q. What did you hear from friends and family back home? Did you hear people staying up to watch the match?
CARLOS ALCARAZ: Yes, a lot of peoples, I mean, staying up so late to watch the match, cheering me up. Of course, cheering up Rafa, as well.
I know a lot of friends stayed up with the match.
Q. Rafa’s reflex volleys, have you ever seen anything like it?
CARLOS ALCARAZ: Those players has a great reflex. Yeah, in tough moments, great points, Rafa reflex was amazing, so… Tough to see (indiscernible).
Q. With your performance and it is way you finished the second set, did you feel at any time you were going to win? And what did Rafa tell you?
CARLOS ALCARAZ: Yeah, of course. It was really, really close. I mean, in the third set I had chances to make a break point. I mean, 30-All, the reflex point. 40-all, as well. So many points that I almost win, he beat me in that moments.
I thought that I’m able to beat Rafa in some moments. But as I said yesterday, Rafa has thousand lives. If he’s down, he’s able to play at a great level in the tough moments. Yeah, I thought I could win in the third.
And the net, he told me great tournament, good luck for the rest of my career.
Q. During a match like that, do you ever 100% forget that you’re playing Nadal?
CARLOS ALCARAZ: No, no. The first set I was playing against Rafa and against me. I was always thinking that I’m playing against Rafa. In the second set and the third set, okay, I’m playing against Rafa, but I’m going to show my level, I’m going to give my 100% that I be able to beat him or close to beat him.
But in the whole match I was thinking that I’m playing of Rafa.
Q. A question about breaking racquets. Can you remember the last time was you broke a racquet? Also, your level of English is good for somebody young. Where and how did you develop your English? At your age, Rafa couldn’t speak English like you are now.
CARLOS ALCARAZ: In the first question, I think there are three or four years that I don’t broke a racquet. I just learned how to control myself.
In the second questions, I mean, in every tournament that I travel, that I’m being, that I am in a tournament, I mean, I practice the English a little bit. A lot of peoples talking. Yeah, trying to speak with the players, with the people around to grow my English.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports