‘The difference was too much’ – Carlos Alcaraz struggles with clay transition
Carlos Alcaraz has admitted that he found the return to clay from grass difficult as he had to recover from a set down to win his opening match at the Hamburg Open on Tuesday.
Top seed Alcaraz defeated German wildcard and world number 259 Nicola Kuhn 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7-3) to reach the second round of the ATP 500 event.
The Spaniard, already with a Masters 1000 title on clay to his name from Madrid this year, was playing for the first time since Wimbledon.
“It was tough, I mean, the first round in every tournament is tough,” Alcaraz said after the win. “I came from the grass, and the difference was too much. I’m really happy to be [into] the second round. I’m sure that I will be better in the next round, but I’m really happy with the win.”
While at Wimbledon, Alcaraz described how tough it is to play on grass.
“Grass is tough for me because the movement is tough, more difficult than other surfaces,” he told Tennishead. “I’m going to compare a long rally [on grass] is like three or four long rallies on another surface.”
While shifting to the grass is tough, shifting back to the hard or clay is clearly just as difficult for Alcaraz and others.
Still, the 19-year-old remains the favourite to win in Hamburg and claim a third career ATP 500 title, a trophy that would see him climb even higher in the rankings than his current position of seventh.
Alcaraz faces 2021 Hamburg finalist Filip Krajinovic next for a place in the quarter-finals, with more tournament information available in our Hamburg Open 2022 Tournament Preview.
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