Carlos Alcaraz is entering just his third career grass-court tournament at the Queen’s Club, desperate to get rid of his French Open horror show but admitting the change of surface poses ‘difficult’ questions.
The 20-year-old Spaniard saw his dream of adding the French Open to his 2022 US Open title crumble dramatically due to full-body cramps caused, he admitted, by the stress and tension of facing Novak Djokovic.
His semi-final loss in Paris to eventual champion Djokovic also saw him relinquish his world number one ranking.
However, the flamboyant shooter now faces a new dilemma – how to master the demands of the grass courts with Wimbledon just two weeks away.
“I arrived in London on Saturday morning and had my first training on the grass yesterday,” Alcaraz told a press conference on Sunday at the west London venue.
“I haven’t been able to train too much at home because we don’t have grass pitches. I have to adapt my movements and my shots on grass, but I’m really happy with the training I’ve had. had here.
Alcaraz, who made the fourth round at Wimbledon last year, said he rested for four days after his exit from Roland Garros.
With 10 titles to his name – seven on clay and three on hard courts – he must now use his recharged batteries to develop a master plan for the grass courts.
“The most difficult thing is to move well on the grass. You have to be more careful than on other surfaces, so for me moving on grass is the most difficult,” he admitted.
“The most comfortable thing is to go to the net and play aggressively all the time. For me, it’s similar to other surfaces with my style. Playing this style is comfortable and I like it.
“There are a lot of players who cut on the grass. I’m not one of them, so I have to think about movement. I have to be focused on every move and every shot.
“For me, it’s more tiring when you move on the grass. It’s totally different, so you have to be really specific.
Queen’s top seed Alcaraz will begin their quest for a fifth title this season against French qualifier Arthur Fils.
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