Facebook Social Button Twitter Social Button Follow Us on InstagramYouTube Social Button
NewsScoresRankingsLucky Letcord PodcastShopPro GearPickleballGear Sale

Popular This Week

Net Notes - A Tennis Now Blog

Net Posts

Industry Insider - A Tennis Now Blog

Industry Insider

Second Serve - A Tennis Now Blog

Second Serve



By Richard Pagliaro | @Tennis_Now | Friday, May 24, 2024
Carlos Alcaraz is swinging pain-free in Paris practice.

Now, the Wimbledon winner is eager to put his strained forearm to the test in his Roland Garros return.

Roland Garros Men's Draw: Top 5 Takeaways

Meeting the media in Paris today, Alcaraz said he has been practicing without the stinging forearm pain that prompted his withdrawal from Rome earlier this month.

"Well, I'm feeling better. Every practice that I have done here, at home, it was pretty, pretty good," Alcaraz told the media in Paris. "I'm feeling better and better. At least I can practice, hit balls without pain. That's a really good point for me. I'm excited to play my first match here in Roland Garros."

The third-ranked Spaniard will face American lucky loser JJ Wolf in his French Open opener.

It will be Alcaraz's first match since Andrey Rublev ended his reign as Mutua Madrid Open champion in last month's Madrid quarterfinals.

The lack of match play and the fact there's still a question of physical tolerance: Will his aching forearm hold up to the rigors of clay play and enable Alcaraz to hit forehands at full pace?

Alcaraz said he's searching for those answers in practice, but remains positive about the process. 

"Well, honestly I come here to this tournament with not too many matches, not as much matches as I wanted, but I'm focusing on the practice," Alcaraz told the media in Paris. "I'm practicing well. I'm getting rhythm. I'm getting confidence on the practice that I think is really important, and I think I don't need too much the matches to get my 100%, to get at my high level.

"So I think with this week here, I think I be ready for my first match as a really high level. So let's see how it's gonna be, my first match, but I trust that it's going to be a really good match for me."

When it comes to French Open favorites, Alcaraz cites three champions as clear favorites:

1. Australian Open champion Jannik Sinner because he's played the best tennis of any man this year.

2. Reigning Roland Garros champion Novak Djokovic because he's the GOAT.

3. Fourteen-time Roland Garros champion Rafael Nadal because he's King of Clay and best of all time on dirt.

Former world No. 1 Alcaraz suggested recovering from his injury precludes him from putting himself among the top favorites.

"Well, I'm recovering from injury as well, so I don't know, every player that I'm going to face is a big challenge for me," Alcaraz said. "But, I mean, Jannik Sinner is having an unbelievable season. For me, I think it doesn't matter he's coming from an injury. I think he has the capacity to come here and play in such a high level and be able to win it. 

"Same as Rafa, same as Djokovic. Probably we don't see them playing at his best tennis, but it's a Grand Slam, it's Roland Garros, and I think they have chances to win the tournament and increase his level at his 100%."

Photo credit: Internazionali BNL d'Italia Facebook