LONDON: Carlos Alcaraz believes he is capable of winning Wimbledon after claiming his first title on grass on Sunday by beating Alex de Minaur 6-4, 6-4 in the final at Queen's Club.
The Spaniard's fifth title of the season also takes him back to the top of the world rankings, but he said Novak Djokovic remains the favourite to win Wimbledon for an eighth time next month.
Alcaraz was playing on the grass for just the third tournament in his career and showed an impressive development through the week at Queen's after nearly falling to French lucky loser Arthur Rinderknech in the first round.
The US Open champion won his next four matches without dropping a set and is confident of going beyond the fourth round at Wimbledon for the first time.
"I have quite a lot of confidence heading into Wimbledon. I ended the week playing at a high level, so right now I feel one of the favourites to win Wimbledon, but I have to get more experience on grass," said Alcaraz.
"Novak is the main favourite to win Wimbledon, but I will try to play at this level to have chances to beat him or make the final.
"I saw a statistic that Novak has won more matches at Wimbledon than the other top 20 players (combined). What can you say about that you know? Novak is the main favourite to win Wimbledon.
"But I will try to play at this level, to have chances to beat him or make the final at Wimbledon."
Djokovic has reigned supreme in SW19 since 2018. He has not lost on Centre Court in 10 years since losing to Andy Murray in the final.
But Alcaraz is hoping to have the crowd on his side should the top two seeds meet in the final.
"I saw that Djokovic has never lost a match on Centre Court since 2013 when he lost against Andy so it's ten years without losing a match on centre court, it's crazy. But I hope to have the crowd behind me to change that stat."
De Minaur had dumped out Murray and world number six Holger Rune on his route to the final.
But the Australian was left to rue Alcaraz's ability to win the big points in a tight contest.
"I'm content because I know I left it all out there and I try to play the way that I want to play," said De Minaur.
"So that's a big positive for me coming into Wimbledon."
De Minaur had two break points for the chance to serve for the first set when he led 4-3.
Alcaraz responded, though, to hold serve and immediately break the world number 18 in the next game before serving out for the set.
He then needed lengthy treatment as he had strapping applied to his right quad.
Alcaraz's movement did not seem affected as he again pounced on his only break point to move ahead 3-2 in the second set.
Two rare errors gave De Minaur some hope in the final game as Alcaraz found himself 0-30 down.
But the Spaniard's booming serve dug him out of trouble as four straight points secured the title and a return to world number one. -- AFP