Carlos Alcaraz And The Pursuit Of Another Wimbledon Title

The surface shift from Roland Garros to Wimbledon is extreme, and they’re the two closest Slams on the schedule so the best-of-five hangover is very real. There’s also a tendency for the player who won a big tournament to be complacent mentally, and not feel like they need another gear, and that’s the position Carlos Alcaraz is in right now. He won the French Open without ever playing his best tennis. Jannik Sinner is currently his biggest rival and he lost a close five-setter to Alcaraz and will be retooling his game to make improvements.

It’s often said that Alcaraz had a significant dip after winning Slams but his career sample size is still so small that where it’s very hard to spot any significant trends. There’s no conclusive evidence that he has post-Major slumps. The 2022 US Open win was extremely physical and then he went straight into the indoor season, where he had very little experience, and then Alcaraz got injured in Paris for a few months.

The Wimbledon 2023 win though, I felt there was a noticeable change in his game. From Buenos Aires to Wimbledon, he went 47-4 win-loss record and looked dominant. He dominated on grass and was barely dropping sets against non-top players. Then, all of a sudden in Toronto and Cincinnati, he loses the first set in almost every match. He somehow managed to win most of them in tight matches, but he wasn’t as dominant as before. The US Open 2023 run was great before losing to an unplayable Daniil Medvedev on the day. But then, there was the whole indoor slump and Alcaraz did mention that winning Wimbledon affected him mentally. He must have learned from it.

Can Carlos Alcaraz Defend His Wimbledon Title?

Alcaraz can defend his Wimbledon title because his variety and aggression are so good for the grass, and last year he proved he learned how to move on it and how to hit a great backhand slice, both of which he didn’t have when he lost to Sinner in 2022. If he is fully healthy, he has a shot. In terms of grass court prowess, he’s right up there, given that Novak Djokovic’s fitness is in doubt. Alexander Zverev isn’t gonna win the match-up on grass. Alcaraz has a clear advantage over Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas. Honestly, one of the biggest threats will be someone like Hubert Hurkacz in the quarterfinals or Matteo Berrettini in the opening rounds.

If Sinner and Alcaraz face each other then the longer it goes, the more advantage goes to Alcaraz. They have played in three Slam matches so far. The first and only four-setter went to Sinner. The two remaining five-setters went to Alcaraz. In both, Sinner took 2-1 set leads and then collapsed. Sinner’s serve will give him an advantage but Alcaraz’s game may be more suited to grass, as he has said. Since he is more comfortable at the net and can deploy serve and volley to perfection. The Spaniard might just have that little something he needs, to get over the top.