Alcaraz Could Be Without Ferrero At Olympics Because Of Coaching Rule

Alcaraz Could Be Without Ferrero At Olympics Because Of Coaching Rule

by Nurein Ahmed

Carlos Alcaraz will be playing in his first Olympics next month but could be without his influential and vocal coach, Juan Carlos Ferrero, in his corner.

Ferrero is a massive pillar of Alcaraz's coaching team. He nurtured and honed his skills from a young age. The 21-year-old even regards him as a father figure in his professional career.

At this year's Roland Garros, Alcaraz reiterated Ferrero's importance after beating Sebastian Korda. He confessed to reporters following the win that he "needs" the 44-year-old by his side on a match court to receive coaching instructions.

On-court coaching in tennis is allowed, but it is restricted to hand signals, quick-noted instructions, and discussions, although not to the extent of striking a long dialogue.

Players who abuse the coaching rule can find themselves on the wrong side of the rulebook, as Stefanos Tsitsipas recently found out while competing at the French Open.

For Alcaraz, this is probably his guilty habit because he's been frank about it multiple times during his Roland Garros success earlier this month. Ferrero is the heartbeat of his team, and the three-time Grand Slam champion relies on every word he utters because he runs out of ideas regularly on the court.

However, According to section K of the regulations published by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) in accordance with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), coaching is strictly prohibited at the Olympics, and any player guilty of breaching this rule will be fined up to $20,000 and potentially even result in default.

"Players shall not receive coaching during a match. Communications of any kind, audible or visible, between a player and a Team Member may be construed as coaching."

An excerpt of coaching rules at the 2024 Paris Olympics

"Violation of this Section shall subject a player to a fine up to $20,000 for each violation. In addition, if such violation occurs during a match, the player shall be penalized in accordance with the Point Penalty Schedule."

"In circumstances that are flagrant and particularly injurious to the success of the Olympic Tennis Event, or are singularly egregious, the Referee may order the Team Member to be removed from the Olympic Tennis Event site and upon their failure to comply with such order may declare an immediate default of such player."

Alcaraz, who will compete in singles and doubles at the Olympics, played his most recent tournament at Queen's without Ferrero and lost in the second round of the tournament. He confirmed that the former World No. 1 will be back in the hot seat at Wimbledon.


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