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Grass May be “Amazing” Alcaraz’s Best Surface

Grass May be "Amazing" Alcaraz's Best Surface

By Richard Pagliaro | @TennisNow | Wednesday July 10, 2024
Photo credit: Rob Newall/CameraSport

WimbledonCarlos Alcaraz is a champion for all surfaces.

Wimbledon’s lawn may prove to be the Slam surface best-suited for Alcaraz’s all-court attack, says Queen’s Club champion Tommy Paul.

More: Alcaraz Tops Paul, Sets up Wimbledon Rematch vs. Medvedev

In the aftermath of Alcaraz’s 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 Wimbledon quarterfinal win over the 12th-seeded American on No. 1 Court, Paul cited three reasons why Alcaraz could be most productive on lawn.

Comprehensive court coverage, balance to defend on the run even in slick corners of the court and his skill for the thrill strike that can spike both crowd support and the Spaniard’s confidence, all separate defending-champion Alcaraz from the pack chasing him, Paul said.

“He moves unbelievably well. He’s probably the quickest player,” Paul said of Alcaraz. “It’s very hard to get the ball by him. Grass suits him.

“He moves incredible on the grass. It’s not easy to change direction the way that he does. He stays pretty low. I mean, it’s not easy.”

Alcaraz snapped Paul’s nine-match grass-court winning streak, scoring his 12th straight SW19 win to set up a Wimbledon semifinal rematch with Daniil Medvedev. Alcaraz dismissed Medvedev, surrendering just nine games in the 2023 semifinal before dethroning defending champion Novak Djokovic in an epic final.

The third-seeded Alcaraz is 22-3 lifetime on lawn, including a 16-2 Wimbledon record.

One of those two losses was to Medvedev—6-4, 6-1, 6-2 in Alcaraz’s 2021 Wimbledon debut—the other to Jannik Sinner the next year.

Paul, who owns two career wins over Alcaraz, says the Spaniard is a roll player: When Alcaraz ignites the crowd with an audacious winner it empowers his surge.

“When he starts building energy and building momentum, I don’t know, it feels a little bit different than most of the other guys,” Paul said of Alcaraz. “He can play some seriously amazing, amazing tennis.

“Half of the job when you’re out there is not to let him win one of those crazy points because when he does, he kind of gets on a roll.”

The 21-year-old Alcaraz is a champion for all surfaces because he adapts his game to the demands of each surface. He owns fine net skills, deploys one of the most devious drop shots in the Open Era and can vaporize his forehand to “laser beam” effect as Paul put it.

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