How Carlos Alcaraz overcame cramping issues

Carlos Alcaraz celebrations
An elated Carlos Alcaraz

Carlos Alcaraz was able to turn things around in his rivalry with Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon and suffered none of the cramps that plagued him in the Paris Final.

Alcaraz’s team have insisted that they did everything they reasonably could to prepare the Spaniard for that match.

His physio Juanjo Moreno agrees with Alcaraz that the cramping was caused by a mental issue.

“Together with his manager Albert Molina and Ferrero, we’re the people who spend the longest at his side,” Moreno told ATPTour.com.

“I’m available to him 24/7, 365 days a year. We know him very well and we know that all the physical work was done.

“We were aware that he was ready on a nutritional level, with all the necessary minerals and salts.

“When you get a bout of cramp like the one that happened to him, there are people that think maybe the formula wasn’t right. But we weren’t worried at all from a physiological point of view.

“Then, the psychological side is very important. I can prepare Carlos any salt supplement or a similar drink to prevent cramps, but it’s difficult to get inside his mind.

“In his press conference he explained very well the reason those cramps happened, pointing to more of a mental issue than a physical one. It’s always extrapolated into different fields, but in this case the most significant factor was psychological.

“Carlos is a sportsman who learns very quickly from what has happened. When the match finished he also asked questions about why it happened and we talked about it as a team.

“He is told what the reason is, he understands perfectly and learns from the experience. With this information and with the work he does with his psychologist Isabel Balaguer, also a member of his team, Carlos has been able to learn and overcome the situation.”

Moreno admits that he was nervous as Alcaraz went deeper and deeper into the championship match at Wimbledon.

“We knew that it was a match with similar pressure to the one at Roland Garros, or greater, because it was the final at Wimbledon.

“We were aware that the match would be difficult, that Djokovic wasn’t going to make things easy.

“As the match progressed, as one of the main people responsible for that area, I was getting a little nervous thinking that the cramps might come back. But I also trusted in Carlos’ capacity to learn.

“I was also calm, in part. I knew that my work was done, that Carlos had taken the same [physical and nutritional preparations] as he took at Roland Garros and I was confident things would go well.

“If he had learned from what happened in Paris, as he demonstrated, those cramps wouldn’t happen.

“At Roland Garros those cramps came around two hours into the match. At Wimbledon he played for almost five hours and the cramps didn’t appear. That shows that Carlos is an athlete who learns very quickly from his experiences.

“Roland Garros is a very important tournament for him and it demands a little more of him than other tournaments, knowing that you’re playing the best of five sets.

“He overcame that challenge at Wimbledon and, as he said, the origin of that situation was more his nervous system than physiological and the data proves it. He won Wimbledon, he held on to No. 1 and he did it based on the experience he had at Roland Garros with Djokovic.

“One of our team’s mantras is that there is no defeat without learnings. Carlos is one of the best at that.”

READ MORE: Carlos Alcaraz reveals player he thinks will be his biggest rival