Carlos Alcaraz insisted he is not feeling any pressure to be among the Wimbledon favourites after coming through a marathon four-hour clash with Jan-Lennard Struff to reach the second round.
Alcaraz, whose four Tour-level titles in 2022 are more than any other player on the ATP Tour, has been tipped for a deep run at Wimbledon after surging to seventh in the world rankings.
But the 19-year-old was on the brink of a stunning first-round exit when he was taken to a fourth-set tie-break at 2-1 down on Monday, eventually recovering to post a gruelling 4-6 7-5 4-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 win on No. 1 Court.
In his post-match media conference, the Spaniard reiterated last week's claim that he is not one of the favourites to triumph in London, although he said he could win the tournament if he plays to the best of his ability.
"I don't feel the pressure because I don't rank myself as one of the favourites to win this tournament," Alcaraz said.
"Obviously if I play well, I have [the] level to win the tournament, but there are a lot more experienced players on grass. I don't feel the pressure."
30 - #carlosalcaraz has recorded 30 aces vs Jan-Lennard Struff, his highest professional career tally & three more than his eight previous #ATP games combined (27 on aggregate). Security#Alcaraz #Wimbledon2022 pic.twitter.com/ukYgBiUyNM— OptaJuan (@OptaJuan) June 27, 2022
Alcaraz also conceded his grass-court game can still improve as he hailed his tremendous serving display – which brought him 30 aces, as the reason for his victory.
"I enjoyed [the match] a lot," he added. "Great battle over four hours. For me, [to] play on grass is so beautiful. I like to play on grass.
"I would say my level on grass has to improve a little bit, but I'm happy with my level.
"I didn't expect to move as well as I did. I mean, I played really well, I felt really well playing on grass and I still don't know how I served [so well].
"This is probably my best match serving. This was a weapon that I used [and] that's why I won – the serve, for sure."
Alcaraz will face Tallon Griekspoor in the second round after the Dutch player overcame Fabio Fognini in four sets on day one.