Carlos Alcaraz - Australian Open 2024

Carlos Alcaraz told he has one vulnerability that ‘leaves a lot to be desired’

Andy Roddick says Carlos Alcaraz risks having his astonishing progress halted by his failure to develop his serve.

Alcaraz, 20, has already won two majors and he looks set to be a fixture in the top five in the world for the next decade at least.

His game has certainly developed at a frantic pace, and his forehand is arguably already the best on the ATP Tour right now.

However, he can still look vulnerable, especially on his own serving games. That was certainly what cost him at the Australian Open, where Alexander Zverev was able to dominate him from the off.

Roddick, who was one of the greatest servers tennis has ever seen, believes it is a vulnerability that will continue to plague Alcaraz until he can develop a lot more variation.

“I think his serve leaves a lot to be desired,” Roddick told the Served Podcast about Carlos Alcaraz.

“That is the one thing that I don’t think has really improved much at all in the last two years. I remember watching him, kinda his breakout – we knew about him – but winning Miami a couple of years ago and he was serving 135, and now I feel like he’s serving 127.

CARLOS ALCARAZ Australian Open 2024

“There’s not a lot of motion to it, right? There are big servers, who serve straight through the court. And so, they’re are the type of servers that serve 136, but if you get a racket on it, you can square it up a little bit.”

“And then there’s like the Federer type servers that can serve 118 and the ball’s sliding against your racket and it just feels a little bit squirrely – so where you’re kind of hitting foul balls off the serve.”

“Alcaraz, if he’s not hitting that kick serve – that’s getting you up and away and out of the zone – it feels like people are able to firm up his first serve when he goes after it. You need to create a little motion on that serve, he needs to create a little bit of tail.”

“Especially with how good he is on that first ball and how much he can bully you. Right now, even his slice serve feels like it kind of goes straight. It doesn’t have that like Sampras swing on it where it’s tailing away from you and you’re kind of having to chase it.”

“It’s like, if you read it right, you can kind of square it up and get that good pop sound to it. So I think the serve is the most obvious place to improve with Alcaraz.”

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Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.