Carlos Alcaraz’s Coach Has A Theory About His Recent Injury Woes - UBITENNIS
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Carlos Alcaraz’s Coach Has A Theory About His Recent Injury Woes

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Carlos Alcaraz - Roland Garros 2022 (photo Roberto Dell'Olivo)

Carlos Alcaraz’s injury setbacks on the Tour could be linked to the way he plays tennis, according to a member of his team. 

The 19-year-old has been hampered by a trio of issues within the past six months. It began last November when Alcaraz was forced to withdraw from his quarter-final match at the Paris Masters due to an abdominal injury. A medical exam later found that he suffered an internal oblique team in his left abdominal wall which ruled him out of the ATP Finals. Then during the off-season, he injured his right leg which forced him to pull out of the Australian Open. 

Alcaraz’s most recent injury is a strained hamstring which he suffered earlier this month. Fortunately, the severity of his hamstring problem is minor with there being an estimated recovery time of between 7-10 days. Although he did pull out of a tournament in Mexico this week. 

Overseeing Alcaraz’s performance during the recent South American swing was coach Martínez Cascales who used to guide Juan Carlos Ferrero on the Tour. Ferrero remains Alcaraz’s principal mentor. 

Carlitos is fine, he knows that these things sometimes happen in tennis, but it’s always hard to stop when you really want to play,” Cascales commented on Alcaraz’s current fitness
“He came (to Acapulco) after several accumulated matches, so you are even more excited to continue playing, but sometimes these things happen.”

The fact that the world No.2 has suffered a series of injuries within a short time does raise alarm bells for some given his young age. So could there be more to it than what meets the eye? 

Cascales believes the problems could be linked with Acaraz’s ‘explosive style of play’ which is putting more pressure on his body. Something he thinks will become less of an issue for the tennis star as he gets older.

“The team is studying the situation, although for me the first explanation lies in his very explosive style of play, which is often excessive in terms of the number of balls he chases in the same play. (This is) something that even happens in training,” he said. 
“It is a very important characteristic in his DNA, one of the reasons that has led him to be what he is and that has led him to be at the ranking that he is at so young. Obviously, as he grows, it (his body) will regulate this issue a little better, although it will always be like that.’
“The team that surrounds him is trying to improve this aspect, but without losing that spirit and philosophy that has led him to the top.”

The reigning US Open champion will be aiming to return to top form in time for the American hardcourt swing where he has a large number of points to defend at both Indian Wells and Miami. 12 months ago he reached the semi-finals in Indian Wells before becoming the youngest male player in history to triumph in Miami. Alcaraz will undoubtedly be under pressure to perform well once again but his team has played down the idea of obsessing over points. 

“If we start to worry about this when we are so young, it means that we are not with our feet on the ground, the reality is that you should not worry at all,” said Cascales.

Alcaraz started his season by winning the Argentina Open before reaching the final in Rio a week later. Overall, he has won eight out of nine matches played so far in 2023. 

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Jack Draper Wins In Stuttgart, Potentially Faces Andy Murray in Round Two

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Jack Draper – ATP Monaco di Baviera 2024 (foto via Twitter @atptour)

Britain’s Jack Draper tight first round win headlined the opening day’s results at the Boss Open 2024 in Stuttgart – and possibly faces a second-round match with Andy Murray who takes on Marcos Giron tomorrow.

Less than 24 hours from the last ball being hit at Roland Garros, the ATP Tour had already switched surfaces onto the grass, and 22-year-old Draper was well tested but ultimately came through in two tie-breakers over Sebastian Ofner.

The sixth seed’s 7-6, 7-6 win contained just one break of serve each, both coming in the second set, as serve dominated proceedings on the faster grass courts in Germany.

While the Austrian won 75% on his first serve, Draper won a whopping 89% behind his first delivery as well as hitting eight aces. These kind of service stats will surely take him far during the grass court season.

“I thought it was a really good match,” Eurosport quoted Draper saying after his match. 
“Both of us played really clean tennis, executing really well.
“When it came down to it, I’m glad I competed really well and got over the line – it’s good to be back on the grass as well.”

There were also wins for Germany’s Yannick Hanfmann who won 6-3, 6-3 over wildcard Henri Squire, while compatriot Dominik Koepfer won in three sets over China’s Zhizhen Zhang 4-6, 7-6, 7-6. 

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Carlos Alcaraz Still Owns A Magical Racket

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The legend of Carlos Alcaraz and his magical racket lives on.

The 21-year-old Spaniard executed one magical shot after another with his racket and legs  Sunday afternoon in the French Open final. That bit of magic spelled defeat for Germany’s Alexander Zverev.

This was a final to remember, one of the great matches of all the Grand Slams. It just wasn’t in the cards for the 26-year-old Zverev to finally win a Grand Slam title.

HE HAD IT, THEN HE DIDN’T

Both players seemed to play a game of “he had it and then he didn’t.”

Alcaraz appeared to have everything under control in the first set, but Zverev rushed through the second set and then made a comeback from 5-2 down in the third set to win five straight games.

Zverev had everything going for him when he started the fourth set with a two-set advantage. It appeared that all the 6-6 Zverev had to do was to continue playing his masterful game of big serves and mighty ground strokes.

But Zverev couldn’t get started in the fourth set until he was down 4-0. So much for a smooth and easy ride to a Grand Slam title. By then, the magic of Alcaraz was heating up.

MAGIC OF ALCARAZ HEATING UP

Zverev still had his chances, even when he fell behind 2-1 in the fifth set. He had to feel pretty good about his chances when he took a triple break point lead against Alcaraz’s serve and appeared ready to even the set at 2-2. Even after Carlos came up with a winner to bring the  game score to double break point.

Zverev still was ready to even the entire match.

That’s when everything seemed to go haywire for the German, while all the while, Alcaraz was able to repeatedly come up with his magical shots as the Spaniard made critical shots that looked almost impossible to make.

ALCARAZ HEADED FOR GREATNESS

Everything for Zverev was lost in the magical racket of Alcaraz.

What was then initially called a game-ending Alcaraz double fault and a 2-2 deadlock quicky reversed itself and Alcaraz stayed alive by winning the next three points while taking a 3-1 advantage.

Zverev did get back to a 3-2 deficit and had a break point in the sixth game, but that was it for the hopes of Zverev. The last two games went rather easily in favor of Alcaraz to wrap up a 6-3, 2-6, 5-7, 6-1, 6-2 victory for Alcaraz.

That moved the Spaniard to a higher level of success on the ATP Tour. He became the youngest man to win Grand Slam titles on all of the different surfaces, clay, grass and hard courts.

Carlos Alcaraz and his magical racket appear to be headed for greatness.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award  for print media. A 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at Jamesbecktennis@gmail.com. 

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Tsitsipas Brothers Hit With Trio Of Fines At French Open

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Stefanos Tsitsipas and his brother Petros have been fined more than 20,000 euros for multiple violations of the coaching rules at this year’s French Open. 

The brothers received a financial penalty during three different matches that they played in. Two of those were in the second and third rounds of the men’s doubles tournament. Furthermore, Stefanos was also penalised during his singles quarter-final match against Carlos Alcaraz, which he lost in straight sets. According to French newspaper L’Equipe, all three of those fines were issued as a result of coaching rules being broken.

Ironically, coaching is allowed during matches at the French Open but certain rules must be followed. ‘Verbal’ coaching can only be issued from the coaches and their team if they are sitting in the designated player’s box. Instructions must be limited to a few words and can only be given if the player is in the same half of the court as their coach. Although non-verbal coaching is allowed regardless of what side the player is on. Finally, players can’t start a conversation with their coach unless it is during a medical break, a bathroom break or when their opponent is changing clothes.

However, the Tsitsipas brothers have been found in violation of these rules, which is likely due to their animated father in the stands who is also their coach. Apostolos Tsitsipas has been given coaching violations in the past at other events, including the 2022 Australian Open. 

The value of the fines are €4,600 and €9,200 for the Tsitsipas brothers in the doubles, as well as an additional €7,400 just for Stefanos in the singles. In total, the value of their fines is €21,200. However, the penalty is unlikely to have an impact on the duo whose combined earnings for playing in this year’s French Open amount to roughly €495,000. 

So far in the tournament, the highest single fine to be issued this year was against Terence Atmane who hit a ball out of frustration that struck a fan in the stands. Atmane, who later apologised for his actions, managed to avoid getting disqualified from the match. Instead, he was fined €23,000. 

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