Carlos Alcaraz has had a tremendous year so far yet his performances at grand slams this year have been a level below his Tour-level performances.
The Spaniard ran into Matteo Berrettini in the 3rd round of the Australian Open losing in a close five-setter. At Roland Garros, he got easily outplayed by a superb Alexander Zvereve with Jannik Sinner proving better at Wimbledon. None of those runs went as he planned, especially the one at Roland Garros where many thought he could even win.
Last week at Hamburg, Alcaraz admitted that pressure doesn't bother him but now in Umag, he admitted he didn't know how to handle it in the best way:
"When facing the challenge of a Grand Slam, the fundamental thing is the mental aspect because to face matches of four or five hours, you have to be very prepared. I think I wasn't at my best in that particular aspect and I didn't know how to handle the pressure and nerves in the best possible way. "
"I am fully recovered physically and mentally from what happened in Hamburg and I look ready to face the title defence in Umag. I am very fond of this event, I love to come because there is a great atmosphere and I have been able to relax for a few days and do new things, such as riding a jet ski."