Andy Roddick analyses one area of Carlos Alcaraz’s game that ‘leaves a lot to be desired’

Ewan West
Carlos Alcaraz 2024 Australian Open
Carlos Alcaraz in action at the Australian Open

Andy Roddick has identified one area in the game of Carlos Alcaraz that “leaves a lot to be desired” and is the “most obvious place to improve” after his Australian Open campaign. 

The former world No 1 declared that Alcaraz’s serve is “the one thing that I don’t think has really improved much at all in the last two years” and feels there is “not a lot of motion” to his delivery.

Alcaraz suffered a somewhat surprising four-set loss to Alexander Zverev in the quarter-finals of the 2024 Australian Open and was broken seven times during the match.

The world No 2 sits ninth in the overall ATP serve rating leaderboard for the past 52 weeks, but has the lowest average aces per match (4.1) among the top 41 ranked servers.

The two-time Grand Slam champion also has the lowest percentage of first serve points won (72.5%) among the top 24 players on the serve leaderboard.

READ MORE: Carlos Alcaraz gets massive boost ahead of South American clay-court swing and trip to the United States

Speaking on the first episode of the Served with Andy Roddick podcast, where he reviewed the Australian Open with journalist John Wertheim, Roddick broke down Alcaraz’s serve.

“I don’t think it’s gonna be super smooth sailing, I think the tournaments that are coming up, obviously Indian Wells is a great surface for him because the ball jumps up and away, that’s gonna give him some love on the kick serve,” the 2003 US Open winner said.

“I think his serve leaves a lot to be desired. That is the one thing that I don’t think has really improved much at all in the last two years. I remember watching him, kinda his breakout – we knew about him – but winning Miami a couple of years ago and he was serving 135, and now I feel like he’s serving 127.

“There’s not a lot of motion to it, right? There are big servers, who serve straight through the court. And so, they’re are the type of servers that serve 136, but if you get a racket on it, you can square it up a little bit.

“And then there’s like the Roger [Federer] type servers that can serve 118 and the ball’s sliding against your racket and it just feels a little bit squirrely – so where you’re kind of hitting foul balls off the serve.

“Alcaraz, if he’s not hitting that kick serve – that’s getting you up and away and out of the zone – it feels like people are able to firm up his first serve when he goes after it. You need to create a little motion on that serve, he needs to create a little bit of tail.

“Especially with how good he is on that first ball and how much he can bully you. Right now, even his slice serve feels like it kind of goes straight. It doesn’t have that like [Pete] Sampras swing on it where it’s tailing away from you and you’re kind of having to chase it.

“It’s like, if you read it right, you can kind of square it up and get that good pop sound to it. So I think the serve is the most obvious place to improve with Alcaraz.”

READ MORE: Tim Henman issues Carlos Alcaraz warning as the Spaniard is likened to Nick Kyrgios