Carlos Alcaraz surpassed a Bjorn Borg record with his latest Australian Open victory, but he made it clear he was gunning for bigger and better records.
The 20-year-old Alcaraz booked his place in the fourth round of the season-opening Grand Slam for the first time on Saturday as he outclassed Shang Juncheng before the Chinese youngster retired due to injury.
With the win, the world No 2 became the youngest player since the great Borg to reach the round of 16 at seven consecutive Grand Slams with the 11-time Grand Slam winner achieving the feat in the 70s.
Asked about the record following the match, Alcaraz is quoted in Spanish media as saying: “I try not to give it importance because the records I want to break are the ones Novak is breaking. Those are the records I am aiming for in my career.
“Taking them away from legends like Borg is always good, but if you give them too much importance, it can play into your against.”
Djokovic, of course, holds the record for most Grand Slams won as he sits on 24 while he has also won a record 40 ATP Masters 1000 titles and is the only player – man or woman – to spend more than 400 weeks at No 1 in the rankings. He has also won the most ATP Finals trophies and has a record eight year-end No 1 titles, to name just a few of his records.
On wanting to be the best, Alcaraz said: “Everyone has to look out for themselves and I am not afraid to express what I want and what I want to achieve, what I want to achieve.
“You have to dream big and I’m not afraid to say openly what my dreams and goals are. There may be people who like it and people who don’t like it. One of the things I’ve learned is that I can’t please everyone. Whatever I say or whatever I do, there will always be people who like me more or less. I’m ambitious and I’m not afraid to say what I want to achieve.”
After missing last year’s Australian Open due to injury, Alcaraz is feeling physically good following his wins over Richard Gasquet, Lorenzo Sonego and Shang.
So how would he rate his performance so far?
“I’m feeling better every match, I put myself at 7-8,” he said. “Physically I’m feeling pretty good and I also give myself that grade in this aspect.
“I’m playing the ball well, that’s why I preferred to do some physical training at the end of the match and not go to practice. In the Grand Slams it is always good to be on the court the less time the better to recover and for the following matches.”