Andy Roddick highlights factor making Carlos Alcaraz dangerous at the Australian Open
Andy Roddick believes Carlos Alcaraz will be a major threat at the 2024 Australian Open as the surface at the tournament will be “very good for him.”
The 2003 US Open champion feels the “heavy ball” Alcaraz hits could be even more effective in the Australian heat, while suggesting the Spaniard having no points to defend could be advantageous.
Alcaraz missed this year’s Australian Open due to a leg injury, with Novak Djokovic downing Stefanos Tsitsipas to claim a record-extending 10th crown at the event.
The world No 2 has made monumental strides since last competing at the Melbourne Grand Slam in 2022, when he was beaten in five sets by Matteo Berrettini in the third round.
The 20-year-old has had the best campaign of his career to date this year, having claimed six ATP titles and compiled an excellent 65-12 (84.4%) record.
The highlight was his five-set victory over Djokovic to win his second Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in July. The Spaniard also won Masters 1000 tournaments in Indian Wells and Madrid, ATP 500 events in Barcelona and at Queen’s Club, and an ATP 250 in Buenos Aires.
Former world No 1 Roddick hailed the season Alcaraz has had and expressed that the young star’s game will be well-suited to the Australian Open.
“This week wasn’t the best surface for Alcaraz, but the round-robin format was great for him leading into next year. He was on a three-match losing streak after losing the first match and battled back with two really good wins to steady the ship,” the American told Betway.
“If, at the start of the year, you’d have said, ‘Hey, listen, you’re going to win Wimbledon’, then I think he takes that without even hearing the rest.
“There were some bumps in the road towards the end of the year – and maybe he learned some lessons about fitness and timelines at Roland Garros – but, all in all, what a season it’s been for him.
“People forget he didn’t play Australia last year because of injury, so he has no points to defend until February. Australia will be a very good surface for him, especially if it gets hot down there. I’m curious to see how that heavy ball he hits, if it gets really warm, is going to jump off that surface.”
The 32-time ATP titlist also lauded the development of world No 4 Jannik Sinner, who enjoyed a superb second half of the year – which included making the ATP Finals final last week.
“It was a big week for Sinner after a great six months. He’s now graduated to that stage of being No 3 or No 4 in the world and being in the mix every week. All of a sudden, you’re looking at him maybe being able to sneak a Major and not feel like you’re projecting too far forward into the future,” Roddick said.
“He’s worked on his serve and has gotten a lot stronger after adding muscle to his skinny frame in the last off-season. You used to be able to count on some weird errors in tight situations, but his error counts have dropped.
“He’s just becoming more and more of a complete player with every month that passes, and closing out tournament wins against big players. If I’m in Sinner’s team, next year can’t get here soon enough, even after a long season.”
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