Why Alcaraz's Recent Practice Video Raises Concerns Ahead Of French Open

Why Alcaraz's Recent Practice Video Raises Concerns Ahead Of French Open

by Nurein Ahmed

Carlos Alcaraz's recent video in practice "raises more question marks than answers," according to former WTA No. 1 Tracy Austin.

Alcaraz is recovering from a forearm injury. He withdrew from Monte Carlo and Barcelona because the injury had not fully healed. The Spaniard returned to Madrid to defend his title but stumbled in the quarterfinal against eventual champion Andrey Rublev.

Alcaraz revealed that he was not operating at full fitness and pulled out from the Italian Open this past week. With just two weeks to go before Roland Garros, the 20-year-old has yet to lift a racket since Madrid and only shared a video of himself practicing shadow swings in training.

What is even more surprising is that Alcaraz is now the oddsmakers' favorite for the French Open, having had less-than-ideal preparation for the tournament. While speaking on Tennis Channel, Austin believes it is "problematic" for the World No. 3 not to get reps in actual points in practice.

"More question marks than answers certainly. And by now, halfway through Rome we start to feel kind of settled in who we think has a really good chance, who are the favorites,  who's in the conversation and with Alcaraz not even out on the court practicing, haven't seen anything from Sinner at all, with his bad hip."

"There's just air swings, shadow practice from Alcaraz. I mean, that's great for the footwork, but the forearm problem can't even have a racket in the hand that's problematic with two weeks away, so he's obviously going to stay very in shape from the lower body, but you're not getting those reps with the points."

Furthermore, the 61-year-old analyst has reservations about Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic's form, who have won a combined 17 titles at Roland Garros since 2005.

She opined that Casper Ruud should rank higher in the list of favorites and is impressed by the likes of Alexander Zverev, Holger Rune, and Taylor Fritz coming to the tournament.

"Rafa (Nadal), you know, question mark yesterday. He didn't look great against Hurkacz. Four games. Today, Novak (Djokovic) is winning five games. I mean, I feel very, very out of sorts myself, and then Casper Ruud is not even on there."

"He's twice been the runner-up, he's had a great year, and he's gone to four finals this year, even on hard courts. Casper, you got a shout-out because you're not getting enough respect, buddy. And then Taylor Fritz, you start thinking he can go deep. Can he get to a final because he's playing so well? How about Rune, Zverev? He hasn't won one, but maybe he can take one. It's exciting there."


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