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Interactive Forum May 2022: Carlos Alcaraz Forehand

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  • #31
    Originally posted by arturohernandez View Post
    Hi Everyone, I have been off the board for a while but Carlitos has me excited about tennis once again. The key feature is the simplicity of his forehand. It is back and forward. No extra motion, no wasted energy. Delpo's forehand always struck me a simple as well.

    Meanwhile, a lot of people keep equating a longer take back with a bigger stroke. Until it is not, because there is no time to hit in front when the ball is springing off your opponent's racket at 100 mph and you have seconds to hit it back.

    Alcaraz looks to be the favorite at the French Open to me. I just don't see any of the old guys hanging with him for five sets. And the younger guys cannot hang period.

    I remember seeing Nadal at 19 and thinking: Wow!!!

    He is the new modern player. There are no weaknesses. Or at least no one has discovered them yet.

    The question is who the next big Carlitos killer will be given his dominance. My money was on Shapo but talent does not alleviate his hot headedness.

    So, anyone spot Carlitos's new rival. Maybe Korda?
    The oddsmakers agree. Carlos is at the very least the 3rd favorite for RG, but I also have him as the favorite. Very interesting. This is one of the great things about our sport. The history. I do think a 19 year old Nadal would beat Alcaraz, but who cares what I think. Does not matter. We all as fans could see Lendl battle Sampras, Sampras battle Fed, and Fed vs Nadal and Novak. We are long overdue for a regime change after those 3.

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    • #32
      Finally watched the Carlos-Novak semi Madrid.

      Novak started out playing V-tennis with Carlos, but by the end the Spanairds forehand was dominant. 35 forehand wins vs only 6 for Novak, and plus/ minus of -3 vs -11.

      filedata/fetch?id=97372&d=1652651489&type=thumb
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      Last edited by jimlosaltos; 05-15-2022, 01:51 PM.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by jimlosaltos View Post
        Finally watched the Carlos-Novak semi Madrid.

        Novak started out playing V-tennis with Carlos, but by the end the Spanairds forehand was dominant. 35 forehand wins vs only 6 for Novak, and plus/ minus of -3 vs -11.

        filedata/fetch?id=97372&d=1652651489&type=thumb
        V-tennis?

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        • #34
          Originally posted by stroke View Post

          The oddsmakers agree. Carlos is at the very least the 3rd favorite for RG, but I also have him as the favorite. Very interesting. This is one of the great things about our sport. The history. I do think a 19 year old Nadal would beat Alcaraz, but who cares what I think. Does not matter. We all as fans could see Lendl battle Sampras, Sampras battle Fed, and Fed vs Nadal and Novak. We are long overdue for a regime change after those 3.
          19 year old Nadal on clay was just incredible. Alcaraz is more refined in a way. Less explosive but much more balanced in his ability to attack. It will be interesting to see if someone rises out of the pack to challenge him.

          What I do know is that his forehand is rock solid. I still think that Fed's is the prettiest and most classic. Nadal's the most explosive and violent.

          Alcaraz might have just hit the sweet spot between them. Both elegant and explosive.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by arturohernandez View Post

            V-tennis?
            Not a common term? If Novak's serve or return forces neutral ball he can move in a bit, then he camps our in the middle of the baseline hitting from corner to corner.
            Last edited by jimlosaltos; 05-17-2022, 01:39 PM.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by jimlosaltos View Post

              Not a common term? If Novak's serve or return forces neutral ball he can move in a bit, then he camps our in the middle of the baseline hitting from corner to corner.
              I get it. Kind of like a boxer who is alternating his punching so that his opponent has to defend both left and right flanks. Djokovic sits in the middle and just hits balls to each corner.

              Did Alcaraz counter by hitting up the middle? It feels like this is Medvedev's strategy and probably Wawrinka's as well. They just try and push him back to open up angles. Nadal also commented that he never gives Djokovic an extreme angle. Rafa prefers to hit the ball deep to push him back.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by arturohernandez View Post

                I get it. Kind of like a boxer who is alternating his punching so that his opponent has to defend both left and right flanks. Djokovic sits in the middle and just hits balls to each corner.

                Did Alcaraz counter by hitting up the middle? It feels like this is Medvedev's strategy and probably Wawrinka's as well. They just try and push him back to open up angles. Nadal also commented that he never gives Djokovic an extreme angle. Rafa prefers to hit the ball deep to push him back.
                My hazy memory / impression was that Alcaraz simply started getting better service-returns back, and hitting the first shot after his own serve more aggressively. So, Djoko was pushed back a few steps on that first shot and could no longer dictate play. Matches at that level can swing on such small margins.

                One sequence comes to mind late in their third set. Wish I had a link to video. Novak jumped all over a decent second-serve kicker by Alcaraz. Novak moved way in diagonally, cut it off and hit a head high return into Alcaraz's backhand corner. Could have been unreturnable. Problem was, Alcaraz started recovering to that corner before Novak even hit the ball and hit not a backhand, but a run-around inside-in forehand winner. Tremendous quickness and, I'm guessing, he sees the ball real well.

                Alcaraz reminds me just a bit of Fed in the way both sometimes start edging into the court looking for something short to attack. On one sequence, Novak hit a moon ball. Carlos hit another back. Except Carlos didn't wait to see if Novak hit a short shot before acting. As soon as (I presume) he saw Novak was out of position and going to have to hit a ball above his head Carlos sprinted from deep into the court and took Novak's looper out of the air.

                It seem to me that Alcaraz is one of the most offensive-first minded ATP players to come along in a while. Which is a good thing IMHO <g>

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                • #38
                  Short in Economist:

                  Economist: ​"Carlos Alcaraz may be the man to usurp tennis’s Big Three at last"



                  ​"Zverev, after being blown off the court by him in the final, said, “He’s the best in the world.” Some other estimates concur. Although Mr Alcaraz is officially ranked sixth, according to Elo ratings, an alternative ranking system which adjusts for the quality of opponents, he currently has 2,209 points, against 2,171 for Mr Djokovic and 2,059 for Mr Nadal."​

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by jimlosaltos View Post

                    My hazy memory / impression was that Alcaraz simply started getting better service-returns back, and hitting the first shot after his own serve more aggressively. So, Djoko was pushed back a few steps on that first shot and could no longer dictate play. Matches at that level can swing on such small margins.

                    One sequence comes to mind late in their third set. Wish I had a link to video. Novak jumped all over a decent second-serve kicker by Alcaraz. Novak moved way in diagonally, cut it off and hit a head high return into Alcaraz's backhand corner. Could have been unreturnable. Problem was, Alcaraz started recovering to that corner before Novak even hit the ball and hit not a backhand, but a run-around inside-in forehand winner. Tremendous quickness and, I'm guessing, he sees the ball real well.

                    Alcaraz reminds me just a bit of Fed in the way both sometimes start edging into the court looking for something short to attack. On one sequence, Novak hit a moon ball. Carlos hit another back. Except Carlos didn't wait to see if Novak hit a short shot before acting. As soon as (I presume) he saw Novak was out of position and going to have to hit a ball above his head Carlos sprinted from deep into the court and took Novak's looper out of the air.

                    It seem to me that Alcaraz is one of the most offensive-first minded ATP players to come along in a while. Which is a good thing IMHO <g>
                    He even brings out the S&V tactic!

                    He also seems to be a very balanced player. In a way, he reveals how the Spanish system has changed. I think Nadal can be just as aggressive especially as he has gotten older. Gone are the days when he just waits to see what others do. If Nadal can win at the net, he will come in.

                    Alcaraz is really keen on attacking. So interesting that so many players can reach the top by playing consistently. Then just as they ascend it takes just a bit more to get over the top.

                    The only other offensive player is Shapo but he appears to be stuck at the moment. He can attack but does not know how to counterpunch very well. To me that is what set Fed apart. He was offensive but he could also counterpunch when necessary. He also has all the shots. Alcaraz knows how to slow the game down much like Fed did.

                    Did you watch Stefano and Lorenzo? Hardly any slice at all. They just kept hitting through everything. Meanwhile, Alcaraz makes you play the whole court and brings a complete package. He can hit every shot.

                    You might remember when Fed played James Blake. I mean talk about defense and counterpunching. Here is where having so many different shots help. It gives you tools with which to solve problems. Then you just take whatever tool is working for you that day.

                    If all you can do is hit hard, there is no variety when you face someone who can hit harder.

                    Fed faced plenty of people who could hit harder. Blake was simply powdering the ball and Fed just kept hanging around and waiting for his chances.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by arturohernandez View Post


                      Did you watch Stefano and Lorenzo? Hardly any slice at all. They just kept hitting through everything. Meanwhile, Alcaraz makes you play the whole court and brings a complete package. He can hit every shot.

                      You might remember when Fed played James Blake. I mean talk about defense and counterpunching. Here is where having so many different shots help. It gives you tools with which to solve problems. Then you just take whatever tool is working for you that day.

                      If all you can do is hit hard, there is no variety when you face someone who can hit harder.

                      Fed faced plenty of people who could hit harder. Blake was simply powdering the ball and Fed just kept hanging around and waiting for his chances.

                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BxG69h-BEds
                      Did not see Stef-Lorenzo, which is disappointing since I like both players. I'd include Tsitsipas as an offensive, full-court player. Good enough offense to have 6 wins vs The Big 3, including over Rafa on clay, and win the ATP World Tour Final. And he's only 23.

                      Good call on Fed - Blake. Also, Fernando Gonzalez. When Fed was asked to name best shots, he listed Delpo and Gonzo jointly for forehand, as I recall.

                      Also, Rios for touch. And Davydenko, although I can't recall the category.

                      Recency bias is a powerful mind-altering psychosis <g>.

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                      • #41
                        Basic forehand versus running forehand. Lots of other players have that arm drop off.

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                        • #42
                          Some notes from Alcaraz's loss to Zverev. The German beat the teen with a superior backhand and a superior serve. Both didn't allow the teen to use his nuclear forehand enough.

                          Mark Petchy faulted Alcaraz for not doing down the line with his backhand more "only 27% DTL BH ? Should have played Zverev like a left hander".

                          Result is not obvious in winners vs errors, but more that Alcaraz got pushed back 0.6 Meters more from baseline, making his offense-always game harder to execute.

                          As for Zverev's respected first and maligned second, both worked well. Won more first serve points and by hitting a high percentage, had to face fewer second serve points than his opponent.

                          Yes, he had 6 doubles and pushed a few low MPH seconds in that Alcaraz obliterated, but overall he controlled play with his serve and his backhand.

                          Big forehand is great, but only if 1) you can get to it 2) get to at the right spot on the big points.

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