'Force Us To Play Many Tournaments': Alcaraz Hits Back At 'Too Demanding' Schedule

'Force Us To Play Many Tournaments': Alcaraz Hits Back At 'Too Demanding' Schedule

by Zachary Wimer

Carlos Alcaraz believes the tennis schedule is too demanding, even though he at least has the privilege of choosing his schedule.

As one of the best tennis players in the world, Alcaraz's position is different from that of many players. Everything on the professional Tour is often catered to the needs of these players.

Getting there takes a lot of hard work, so the best among the best should not be shamed. Still, they hold the most privileged position in tennis, as they often get BYEs at tournaments, resulting in fewer matches they have to play.

They are also in a position to choose their schedule, rather than someone who has to play every event they can to make a living. Still, the tennis schedule is too demanding.

Alcaraz is right about that, but it's even worse for the lower-ranked players. The Challenger players generally don't make as much as ATP players, and most of them play a lot more matches than ATP players, some even getting close to 90 to 100 matches per year.

Alcaraz doesn't have to do that, and he gets a performance fee on top of the prize money for almost every tournament that he plays, so his schedule is as demanding as he wants it to be.

But that doesn't diminish the fact that it's still pretty demanding, even for him, which he talked about recently ahead of the 2024 Argentina Open in an interview with Ole.

"It's too demanding. For example, if you start your season with the first tournament of the year you are already leaving (from his house) on December 25 or 26 and then it doesn't end until the beginning of next December. It's almost a year without stopping playing tournaments, going on tours."

What is very fair criticism is being forced to play events players don't really want to, most notably the mandatory ATP 1000 events. Alcaraz is not a fan of that, but he's unsure whether there can be any kind of solution, either.

"It is too demanding and they force us to play many tournaments during the year. I don't know if there will be any solution, maybe not make so many mandatory tournaments."

"Honestly, I don't know, but it is true that (the calendar) is too long, too demanding and in the end they also play a lot with the health of the athletes, from spending so much time at the highest level, tournament after tournament. And I think that needs to be changed."


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