For all the brilliance of rising star Carlos Alcaraz, the 19-year-old Spanish sensation does still have a weakness that he can attempt to address, according to Eurosport expert Mats Wilander. However, he has made it clear that it is not something that has prevented tennis legends Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal or Andy Murray from achieving all they have in the game.
Eurosport expert Mats Wilander has given his assessment of Carlos Alcaraz’s game as he nears the end of what has been a significant season in his young career.
The 19-year-old has not only clinched his maiden Grand Slam singles title at the US Open but also reached the world No. 1 spot in the ATP Tour rankings in what he has called a “dream come true”.
Alcaraz’s rise to the summit of the men’s game has been made all the more special for him because his compatriot and idol, Rafael Nadal, is in second place just behind him.
Wilander, who is a huge fan of Alcaraz, has picked out an area of his game that he could improve over the course of the next few years as he seeks to develop his all-round play.
“The reason why Carlos Alcaraz is going to lose to some of the players at the beginning of his career, more so than the likes of the ‘Big Four’ – because we keep comparing to them, and we should compare to them as they have set the bar so high – is that his weakness is the serve,” Wilander told Eurosport.
“When he is up against someone like Felix Auger-Aliassime, who serves bombs – the power and the precision he hits it with [it is a problem].
“I think the reason we have fallen in love with Carlos Alcaraz and the way that he plays matches is that he does not serve well.
“So every single point that he plays there is a rally and I think people are falling in love with the fact that we are not seeing one-shot rallies, we are seeing five, 10, 15-shot rallies.
“Alcaraz is all over the court, but the downside to that is when you play indoors and you do not have a serve that is reliably good each match and you are not hitting aces. When you run into a physical specimen like Auger-Aliassime, you are going to have a problem.
“So I think that is the area that he has got to improve, but if you look at Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, you do not need to have a huge serve in order to be a competitor in five-set matches. Of course, Roger Federer started serving really well later in his career.
“But on a quick indoor court over three sets, it goes like that. Yes, it is a worry, but it is more a worry about his own game with the first serve.”
— Carlos Alcaraz (@carlosalcaraz) October 31, 2022
Alcaraz has lost twice to Auger-Aliassime over the last six weeks, once at the Davis Cup and also at least week’s Swiss Indoors in Basel.
Alcaraz said that he was “excited to play as a No. 1” at the Paris Masters as he was presented with a trophy to mark him being top of the rankings on Monday.
He became the youngest ever world No. 1 at the age of 19. The Spaniard’s first match at the Paris Masters will be against Yoshihito Nishioka on Wednesday.