“Faced with Carlos Alcaraz, in the final in Umag (Croatia), Sunday (6-2, 6-2 defeat), the key was physical, right?
Yes, it was hard in terms of intensity, I had a very long match the day before (3:11 in the semi-final to beat Altmaier) and he plays very fast, he's hard to counter and I think he's been solid. But it's still a very, very good week for me. I played quality tennis, I managed to move well, even though it was more difficult today. I did great things, I fought to get to the final. Hope to come back as soon as possible
Is Alcaraz a very big future?
He plays amazing tennis, and he's only 18 years old. He hits hard from both sides, he serves well, he's quick. He has everything to make a huge career. He'll be top 10 in a year or two, I think, and he has the potential to win in the Grand Slam, that's for sure. How much he will earn is hard to say, but I have no doubt he will earn a lot.
“I can no longer chain tournaments as before. The recovery is not obvious. I am happy to have rather held physically ”
As he's Spanish and precocious, he has been in contrast so much to Rafael Nadal, nevertheless it's not the identical tennis in any respect …
Incomparable, certainly. No one can examine with Nadal. But Alcaraz performs in a short time, very onerous, he performs the recreation of right this moment's kids, he takes early, he hits onerous, he has a great approach, he feels the recreation. Where you see it's a future nice participant is that he can assault in addition to defend, and that's the mark of a Djokovic, a Federer, a Murray … He does all the things. It is not stereotypical. If he has to go up, he does, for instance. It's going to be a really, very massive one, and I've seen so much of it.
Why did you withdraw from the Kitzbühel match, which begins on Monday?
I can not chain tournaments as earlier than. The restoration is not apparent. I'm joyful to have slightly held bodily, I'm even very happy with that, however at 35, you must take the time to recuperate, practice and begin once more. When you see gamers your age falling a bit, you don't need that, you wish to dangle on as a lot as potential.
Are we on the secure facet then?
Yes. I'll in all probability resume in Cincinnati (August 14-22). There, I've simply lived a stupendous week after sophisticated months. I had a really sore foot at the begin of the 12 months, then I had the Covid. I'm actually joyful to have tasted a final once more. I handle to please myself, I've skilled nice sensations for 2 to a few months, and I'm joyful to be nonetheless on the circuit. I inform myself that it is not over, fairly merely. “