Wimbledon: Alcaraz turns to tapes of Federer to learn how to master grass

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Carlos Alcaraz has been checking out footage of Wimbledon greats including Roger Federer as he bids to sharpen up his raw grass-court game.

The 19-year-old Alcaraz has shot up to number seven in the ATP rankings after winning four titles this year, having begun 2022 outside the top 30.

However, he has little in the way of pedigree on grass, having been stopped in his tracks in round two last year by Daniil Medvedev, winning just seven games.

Of his titles this year, three have come on clay and one on a hard court.

Alcaraz reached the quarter-finals of the Wimbledon boys' singles in 2019, losing to American Martin Damm, and regardless of his recent stellar form, it is difficult to predict how he might fare in London this year.

It is clear that Alcaraz believes he can learn to play on the grass, and that he will pull out all the stops to become a champion on the fast lawns of London, beginning on Monday.

"I'm trying to copy some things from the best ones," he said. "I always watch videos: Federer, [Novak] Djokovic, Rafa [Nadal] and Andy [Murray] as well, trying to copy the moves."

That quartet has dominated at Wimbledon for two decades now. The last player not from that group to win the men's singles was Lleyton Hewitt in 2002, with Federer landing eight titles, Djokovic six, Nadal two and Murray two.

Federer is the only one of Wimbledon's 'Big Four' absent this year; knee trouble preventing him taking part.

Alcaraz, who is seeded fifth, predicted this Wimbledon will be a "tough" assignment in his own fledgling career.

However, seeing fellow Spaniard Nadal get to grips with grass early in his own career has instructed Alcaraz it is a surface that he should not fear.

Nadal was 22 when he won the first of his Wimbledon titles, and 20 when he first reached a final at the All England Club.

Alcaraz is not entirely ruling out challenging this year, because that is how he approaches every event he enters.

He will start on Monday against Germany's Jan-Lennard Struff, with that match given a prestigious Court One billing, such is Alcaraz's rising status.

"Of course, watching Rafa – I would say he is more for clay courts – winning so many tournaments on grass, winning twice here in Wimbledon, you'd think that you are able to adapt your game to grass courts," Alcaraz told a news conference on Sunday.

"But I would say I have a game that is going to adapt well on grass, trying to go to the net, playing aggressive.

"I would say I'm able to play well on grass, and it was said I couldn't prepare well for Wimbledon this year, but I always come to every tournament thinking I'm able to do good results or even able to win the tournament."

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