Carlos Alcaraz has backed the cause of banned world no. 1 Daniil Medvedev from Wimbledon – despite suffering the taunts when the Russian beat him last year. The Spanish teenager had the crowd behind him for his second match 12 month ago to such an extent that Medvedev cupped his ear after beating him 6-4, 6-1, 6-2.
“Well, it is a pity to miss some of the best players in the world. That’s all I can say”.
He was rather more on message when it came to the sanctions dealt out to the tournament by the two tours for cutting senior players – removing any ranking points attached to the fortnight.
When quizzed about the importance of those rankings ahead of a tournament which has been stripped of any ranking points due to its decision to ban players from Russia.
“The ranking for me right now is, like, secondary,” Alcaraz said, entirely on message. “I’m trying not to think too much about the ranking right now.
“For me it’s not the most important thing. It is just still about getting experience on every surface in every tournament. Right now I’m very focused on doing well in the Grand Slams, as well.”
The Spanish teenager has constantly talked down his chances of progressing far in the tournament due to his relative inexperience on grass.
But he acknowledged the history of this grand slam in particular for producing young champions from Boris Becker to Maria Sharapova – as well as celebrating impressive debuts from players like Coco Gauff and Emma Raducanu.
Alcarez was clearly keen to keep in the good books when two big issues of the tournament were put to him on the eve of his opening encounter with Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany on No.1 Court.