Carlos Alcaraz insists players have to adapt to big fuzzy balls

Carlos Alcaraz US Open
Carlos Alcaraz returns the ball during the US Open Championships

World No 2 Carlos Alcaraz believes that players need to adapt to different types of balls if they want to be a top contender.

Alcaraz noted that the balls in use in China have a different feel but said that it was something they had to roll with.

The Spaniard blew past Italian Lorenzo Musetti in the last 16 on Sunday and was quizzed about the balls that had drawn complaints from players.

“I felt it since the first practice that I did here in Beijing. It is something tough but the tennis player has to get used to that,” he told reporters at the China Open.

“They change balls in every tournament or almost in every tournament is a different ball. You have to get used to that.

“It’s kind of different feeling when you are coming into a tournament, is like: What is going to be the ball? It’s a question that I think every player is asking themself about the balls. Here (at the China Open) in just one game, two games, the ball becomes different from the new ones. It’s kind of different play, and you have to get used to that.”

World No 3 Daniil Medvedev made his grievances with the balls in use known.

Medvedev has been an outspoken critic of conditions that he feels are likely to lead to player injuries.

The Russian had his hands full getting beyond Alex De Minaur in the last 16.

“As soon as you play some shots with them, they go very big, much (fluffier)… it becomes like a grapefruit,” Medvedev told AFP news.

“We’re basically playing 30-shot rallies because it’s almost impossible to hit a winner.’

“With these balls, you have to be 100 per cent on every point, until the last point of the match. I managed to do it well so this, I’m happy about.”

Next up for Alcaraz is a big test against Casper Ruud.

He feels that the conditions will ensure that the match is a great spectacle for the fans.

“Casper is a really tough, tough player. So I have to show my best,” said Alcaraz.

“I have to be focused on the match, try not let him dominate, and don’t let him feel comfortable hitting the balls, moving.’

“It is going to be a really tough match, but at the same time fun to play and for the fans to watch, as well.”

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