Carlos Alcaraz - Shanghai Masters 2023

Carlos Alcaraz slams ‘bad’ rule change that left him ‘in a rush’

Carlos Alcaraz has seen his winning streak on grass come to an end, with the Spaniard also unhappy with a new rule brought in by the ATP that he described as ‘crazy’. 

Alcaraz was beaten by new British No.1 Jack Draper, 7-6(3) 6-3, to relinquish the Queen’s title that he won last year.

This was the world No.2’s first defeat on grass since Wimbledon 2022, with Alcaraz admitting that he ‘did not play well’, “It’s tough to deal with the losses, but it is part of our lives. After the loss, you have to take the positive things and of course the negative things to improve for the next tournament.

“I didn’t play well, I didn’t move well. It doesn’t change too much for me. I’m going to keep practicing at 100% to improve, to be a little bit better at Wimbledon.”

Despite trying to take the positives from his defeat, Alcaraz was less pleased with a new rule change implemented by the ATP.

The ATP has been running a trial with the shot clock, which records the time between points which is allowed to be upto 25 seconds.

Previously it had been up to the umpires discretion as to when the shot clock began, but this rule means that the timer automatically began three seconds after each point.

And Alcaraz admitted that he felt like he was ‘in a rush all the time’ and would be making a complaint to the ATP.

“Yeah, absolutely,” said Alcaraz about when he was asked about taking it up with the ATP. “I think for the player it is something bad. I finish the point at the net, and I had no time to ask for the balls. I have time just to ask for two balls and no bounces. It is crazy. I have time just to ask for two balls and no bounces.”

The three-time major winner continued, “I have never seen something like that in tennis. If you play a long point or finish at the net, you [should] have time just to go for a towel or [do] your routine: ask for, in my case, four balls, I’m concentrating for the next point, just bouncing my bounces, and serve as best as I can.

“Today I felt like I was in a rush all the time. I had no time to bounce and do my routine. Of course it’s something bad for the players.”

Alcaraz will now move onto defending his Wimbledon title, with the main draw beginning on Monday 1st July.

Inside the baseline…

Although Carlos Alcaraz may not be overly impressed with his performance yesterday, a lot of credit has to go to Jack Draper who served and played phenomenally at Queen’s. In terms of the rule change, it is hard to say without being in the situation as a player, but Alcaraz is not someone who often complains so it appears likely that there are some issues surrounding the trial.

READ MORE: Jack Draper ‘a contender’ for Wimbledon claims Carlos Alcaraz

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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.