Carlos Alcaraz - Queen's 2023

Carlos Alcaraz reveals ‘most difficult part’ about playing on grass

Carlos Alcaraz has began his grass court season with a victory, and has revealed the aspect of the natural surface that he finds ‘most difficult’ to adjust to.

Alcaraz won his first round match at Queen’s beating lucky loser Arthur Rinderknech, 4-6 7-5 7-6(3), in his first win since suffering cramps against Novak Djokovic in the semi-final of Roland Garros.

The Spaniard spoke about how he recovered from that disappointment in Paris after the match, “After the French Open I had four days off to rest a little bit and turn my mind off.”

“I picked up a racquet and practised for three days back at home but that was on a hard court. I tried to make similar movements on the hard courts that you’d make on the grass but obviously it’s never the same.”

Having narrowly come through his opening match in London, from a break down in the deciding set, Alcaraz commented on what he finds tricky about playing on grass.

“The most difficult part of playing on grass is being able to move well,” claimed Alcaraz. “You have to be more careful than on the other surfaces; but the most comfortable thing for me is being able to go to the net and play more aggressive all the time.”

The ATP No.2 continued, “That side is similar to the other surfaces so playing that style is comfortable and natural for me – I really like it. There are a lot of players who slide on grass and I’m not one of them, so I have to think a lot more about my movement and be really focused on every move and every shot I make.”

“It can be more tiring because you’re constantly moving – it’s totally different to the other surfaces and I have to put in a specific type of work to get ready for it.”

When reflecting specifically on his match with Rinderknech, Alcaraz said, “It was really difficult for me at the beginning to adapt my tennis, my game to the grass.”

The US Open champion added, “For me it is tough playing here but of course I enjoyed playing on the grass and playing at Queen’s. It is a tournament that I really wanted to play. It was a good performance from me on my first match on grass.”

Alcaraz will now play Jiri Lechecka in the second round of the ATP 500 event, with the 20-year-old bidding to return to world No.1 with his first title on grass.

Carlos Alcaraz and his record on grass

Despite his incredible success over the past couple of years, Alcaraz still does not have much pedigree on the grass courts and his match at the Queen’s Club yesterday was his first that was not at Wimbledon.

Here is the young Spaniard’s record on the natural surface as a senior player:

Carlos Alcaraz win-loss record on grass: 5-2 (71%)

  • Wimbledon 2021 – Reached the second round
  • Wimbledon 2022 – Reached the fourth round 
  • Queen’s 2023 – Is currently in the second round

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.