The Federer and Alcaraz Dropshots Compared and Contrasted

Chris Lewit

The forehand drop shot—Carlos Alcaraz.

Carlos Alcaraz has burst onto the pro scene and reached the highest levels of the game. His drop shot is superb and has been a major contributor to his recent success. We have never seen a player recently with such great creativity and skill on the drop shot—except perhaps Roger Federer.

Let's explore the drop shot of Alcaraz both technically and tactically and use the drop shot of Roger Federer for comparison and contrast.

The Forehand Grips

On the forehand wing, both Roger and Carlos, interestingly, have similar grip structures for their topspin strokes, closer to an eastern or composite eastern. In a personal interview, Antonio Cascales, founder and head of the JC Ferrero Equelite Academy where Alcaraz trains, says that Alcaraz has a conservative grip very close to Federer. That's important because it means that when Carlos attempts a drop shot he does not have to change his forehand grip much—if any—to facilitate the underspin shot.

Carlos and Roger have similar grips for the forehand drop shot.

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Chris Lewit is a leading high-performance coach, author, and educator. He is the author of the best-selling book, The Secrets of Spanish Tennis, and a new technique book, Winning Pretty, which will be published by New Chapter Press in paperback in 2025. Secrets of Spanish Tennis, Second Edition will be published in September 2024, also by New Chapter Press. He is also a contributing editor for magazine and a long-time member of the USPTA and PTR. As an educator, he has presented at several large conferences including the PTR International Tennis Symposium. Chris is currently studying kinesiology and biomechanics and headed for graduate school in that field.

As a player, Chris Lewit played No. 1 for Cornell University and competed on the USTA and ITF pro circuits. As a coach, he has recently worked with several No. 1 junior players in the US and has trained hundreds of nationally ranked juniors. He directs a full-time academy for homeschool/online players and a high performance summer camp program, as well as high performance training for all ages and levels, all at his club in the beautiful green mountains of Manchester, Vermont. Contact Chris directly by phone/WhatsApp 914-462-2912 or

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