Carlos Alcaraz: Have Wimbledon hopes been damaged by Queen’s loss?

Carlos Alcaraz is the reigning Wimbledon champion.
Carlos Alcaraz is looking to defend his Wimbledon title.

Outfought, outhit, and outplayed: Not words you usually associate with Carlos Alcaraz.

But that proved to be the case at Queen’s on Thursday, with the Spaniard completely dismantled in a 7-6(3), 6-3 loss to world No 31 Jack Draper.

Draper undoubtedly produced a stirring display but there will be questions for Alcaraz, particularly with his Wimbledon title defence less than a fortnight away.

As he gears up for his quest to win a fourth Slam title, has his Queen’s loss impacted his chance of SW19 success?

Rankings blow

Having won the Queen’s title twelve months ago, defeat to Draper in round two will mean the Spaniard drops 450 ranking points when the ATP Rankings update next Monday.

That will significantly mean that he falls back to world No 3, behind Novak Djokovic – having moved above the Serbian following his French Open win.

Djokovic is still a significant Wimbledon doubt and, should he withdraw, Alcaraz would still be the second seed at the tournament.

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However, should Djokovic play or not withdraw until after the draw is made, the Spaniard will be the third seed – and will find himself in the same half as Djokovic or world No 1 Jannik Sinner.

Both matches are ones that Alcaraz could hypothetically win, but it is a scenario that he would have been desperately hoping to avoid.

Lack of matches

Draper was undoubtedly the better player on the court on Thursday, and Alcaraz conceded that the Brit’s greater grass court prowess this season – having won Stuttgart just last week – may have been a factor.

“I think he is used to playing on grass,” said Alcaraz.

“He won last week in Stuttgart. He’s playing great tennis. I mean, his serve was pretty well, as well.

“He didn’t let me get into the match with his serve, and on the baseline, he played a really solid match aggressively when he got to do it.

“I felt like he was more prepared on grass than me.”

Extra matches may have helped Draper but it is not something the world No 2 will be after despite only playing two matches on the surface.

Alcaraz will stay in Britain to practice ahead of SW19 but will not play a competitive match until he opens Centre Court action on the opening day of the tournament.

Potentially, that could leave him undercooked – as his Queen’s win last year proved perfect preparation for his eventual Wimbledon run.

But he has proved this year he does not need countless matches to find his groove.

Injury meant Alcaraz had little clay preparation this spring, but he still won Roland Garros.

Perhaps it is best to not read too much into this defeat, concede Alcaraz merely lost to a better player, and still recognise he is one of the huge Wimbledon favourites.

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