Carlos Alcaraz makes confession about his forearm injury as he discusses Roland Garros readiness

Shahida Jacobs
Carlos Alcaraz in action
Carlos Alcaraz of Spain during his tennis match

Carlos Alcaraz has revealed that he had to tweak his game slightly during the opening stages of his match against Alexander Shevchenko at the Madrid Open, but he does feel his injury is starting to improve.

The two-time Grand Slam winner has struggled with a forearm injury over the past month as he was forced to skip the Monte Carlo Masters at the beginning of April as well as his Barcelona Open title defence last week.

The Spaniard underwent several scans and, although they all came back clear, the team opted not to take any risks as he was still feeling discomfort when hitting a forehand.

However, he was finally given the go-ahead to play in Madrid, but he admitted he had to hit “softer” during the opening exchanges against Shevchenko in order to test the forearm.

“I didn’t hit my forehand 100%. I hit it softer than I used to hit it, but I think it helped me, you know, to, you know, let’s say, stay relaxed, and, you know, I think more than the shots that I have to hit,” the Spaniard explained.

“But the first thing that I was thinking about when I was stepping on the court is to stay healthy, to not feel anything in the forearm. That’s the main thing for me. And then it was the shots or the level.

“I was really happy to not feel anything in the forearm, and after that, I could increase my intensity. I could increase my forehand a little bit, and it was great for me this match.”

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The 20-year-old has struggled with various injuries over the past two years as he missed last year’s Australian Open with a hamstring injury while he has also had problems with his back.

When asked if there was anything he is doing to prevent these injuries he replied: “I have been doing things in the forearm to prevent injury in my full body, let’s say, just to stay healthy as much as possible, to go to tournaments at 100%. This is work that I have to do every day if I want to, you know, play every tournament during the year.”

Defending Madrid champion Alcaraz will hope for an extended run at the ATP Masters 1000 event in order to get some much-needed practice on clay under his belt. After Madrid, the focus will switch to the Italian Open before all eyes shift to the French Open.

“This one was the first match since Miami. You know, I think I played a really good level, hopefully keep going and play more matches,” he said.

“You know, that play on clay court, you have to be a lot of hours on court just to be ready for the biggest stages and, you know, finding your best version of yourself on clay.

“Right now I’m thinking to be better or get better every day, and I’m thinking to be closer to my 100% here in Madrid, and let’s see how it’s gonna be the next few weeks. But the main thing is to be ready for next tournament and obviously to Roland Garros.”

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