Alcaraz ready for Queen’s Championships debut after Roland Garros disappointment


London, June 19 (IANS) Playing in only his third professional tournament on grass, world No.2 Carlos Alcaraz is gearing up for a highly-anticipated debut at the Queens Championships where he’s fighting to earn a maiden title on the grass.

The 20-year-old was scheduled to take to the stage at last year’s edition but was forced to withdraw due to injury.

The Spaniard, who suffered from severe cramps during a French Open semifinal loss to Novak Djokovic, arrived in London on Saturday and quickly took to court in an attempt to adjust from the Parisian clay to the lawns of west London.

“I arrived in London Saturday morning and I had my first practice on grass. I was not able to practise too much at home as we have no grass courts. I need to adapt my movement and shots on the grass, but I am really happy with the practice I have had here,” Alcaraz said during his pre-tournament press conference on Sunday.

Coming in off the back of a semifinal appearance at Roland Garros, the Spaniard has had a quick turnaround between leaving the Parisian clay courts behind and finding his game on the grass in West Kensington.

“After the French Open I had four days off to rest a little bit and turn my mind off. I picked up a racket and practiced for three days back at home but that was on a hard court. I tried to make similar movements on the hard courts that you’d make on the grass but obviously it’s never the same,” he said.

Alcaraz has undoubtedly been a dominant force on both the hard and clay courts over the past 18 months, having clinched seven of his ten ATP titles on the clay and the remaining three on hard courts.

In contrast, his experience on the grass lays thin, having only played six matches on the surface in his young career, all of which were at the Wimbledon Championships.

Alcaraz enters the tournament as the first seed and is accompanied by a strong contingent of tennis talent, including world No.6 Holger Rune, 2022 Rothesay International Eastbourne champion Taylor Fritz and British No.1 Cam Norrie.

His campaign will get underway on Tuesday with a first-round match up against rising French star Arthur Fils.



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