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Carlos Alcaraz accepts Layani painting after masterpiece Roland Garros first week
The Spanish teen is into his second major quarterfinal, and first in Paris, and will next face Alexander Zverev in a rematch of their Madrid final.
Published May 30, 2022
ZipRecruiter Player Resume: Alcaraz has put together an artful opening week at Roland Garros, with more masterpieces yet to come.
Carlos Alcaraz capped a colorful first week at Roland Garros by receiving an original portrait from artist Laury Layani.
The Paris-based painter, who has in the past captured athletes like Novak Djokovic, presented the Spanish teen in her inimitable style, surrounding him with signifiers like the Spanish Flag, Real Marid’s logo, and a smurf. Alcaraz put the final touch up in the corner: a smiley face up above Layani’s flying dove.
Though his five-set thriller with fellow Spaniard Albert Ramos-Viñolas threatened to temper most art-adjacent hyperbole, Alcaraz has nonetheless put together a masterpiece first week in Paris.
Since saving match point against Ramos-Viñolas, the No. 6 seed has only painted pretty pictures against Sebastian Korda—avenging his Monte Carlo defeat to the American from last month—and Karen Khachanov, beating both in straight sets.
In four matches, he has struck 157 winners to 155 unforced errors, and managed a +7 differential against Khachanov to reach his second major quarterfinal.
“I would say that I'm aggressive all the time,” he said of his game plan after up-ending Korda. “It doesn't matter that if I am losing, winning, tough moment, tough match, I keep my style the whole match.”
Alcaraz will next face No. 3 seed Alexander Zverev in a rematch of their Mutua Madrid Open final, which the former won in straight sets.
Should he advance, the 19-year-old would secure a blockbuster generational clash against either Djokovic or Rafael Nadal in the semis, both of whom he beat at the Caja Magica last month.
In his corner through it all has been coach and former world No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero, who could celebrate his 19th anniversary of winning Roland Garros in 2003 with a true work of art: watching his young charge do the same.
“I grew up with him, he made me the player that I am right now. So, I would say [he gave me] the intensity that I have to keep during the two, three hours to be able to play in the Grand Slams or these matches against the best players in the world, keep focusing in every tournament, in every practice that I have in a tournament period or a training period that I would say I stay focused during the whole practice or the whole match.”