World No. 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas showed class after suffering a shock loss to Carlos Alcaraz, dropping praise on the rising Spanish star in his press conference.
Tsitsipas, who was aiming to lift his maiden Grand Slam title at the US Open, exited the tournament in the third round as Alcaraz stunned the Greek 6-3 4-6 7-6 (2) 0-6 7-6 (5).
“He can be a contender for Grand Slam titles,” Tsitsipas said, per the ATP website. “He has the game to be there.
“[His] ball speed was incredible. I’ve never seen someone hit the ball so hard. [It] took time to adjust. [It] took time to kind of develop my game around his game style. It’s one of these matches and one of these feelings where you pick up [your level] at some point of the match, you feel like you’re in control, and it doesn’t really go your way at the end.
“It’s kind of bitter, especially after such an incredible fourth set by my side, dominating, being just so aggressive, not dwelling on the past. It was a great fourth set. I felt like he played the fifth one completely the way he played the first set basically, careless, going for every single shot. I have never seen someone play such a good fifth set, honestly.”
Tsitsipas praised Alcaraz’s mental toughness
After getting bageled in the fourth set, Alcaraz appeared to be done as he was also dealing with an upper leg issue.
However, Alcaraz bounced back from the fourth set bagel and overcame his upper leg issue to stun Tsitsipas.
Also in the third set, Alcaraz recovered from a double break down and saved three set points before stealing the set in a tie-break.
“He dealt with it really well. That’s something that’s going to [help him] reach the top and make him the player that he is. It was supposed to be my match,” Tsitsipas said. “Today was a match that I shouldn’t have lost. I can only learn from it.”