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Carlos Alcaraz: Since Wimbledon hasn’t produced any titles, I’m not concerned.

World number two Carlos Alcaraz says he does not feel stressed that he has not won a title since Wimbledon last July.

Following his win at the 2022 US Open, he became the youngest men’s world number one in history.

But as the 20-year-old prepares to begin the defence of his Indian Wells title, the Spaniard does feel he is a marked man.

“A lot of players put a target on my back and every time I face them, they show their best level,” Alcaraz said.

Speaking to BBC Sport, he added: “A lot of expectation and noises behind me probably is difficult to deal with, but I try not to think about it. I try to be on my own all the time, to stay away from all of that.

“But it is difficult sometimes – a lot of tournament matches with people around – so I would say that is the toughest thing.”

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Alcaraz, who had a first-round bye, will play the Italian world number 40 Matteo Arnaldi at Indian Wells on Friday.

Victory over Daniil Medvedev in last year’s final was one of six titles he won in the first seven months of the year.

And, even though Alcaraz reached a final, three semi-finals and one other quarter-final in the closing months of 2023, he was not able to lift another trophy.

“After Wimbledon I did a pretty good American swing – final in Cincinnati, semi-finals in US Open – that’s good results, honestly,” he said.

“But after that I was struggling a little with my tennis, my joy. It doesn’t stress me so much not having titles or finals.”

This year began with a quarter-final defeat to Alexander Zverev at the Australian Open and he then rolled an ankle in the second point of his first match in Rio last month.

Alcaraz decided to retire after just two games and so his first concern in Indian Wells will be to prove to himself he is in the shape required to return to the winners’ circle.

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