July 22, 2024
Carlos Alcaraz

Carlos Alcaraz won his first two grass-court titles in 2023.

Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers looks at what makes Carlos Alcaraz stand out on grass
Grass court tennis is still very much a two-touch sport.

An Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers analysis of Carlos Alcaraz’s undefeated run at the cinch Championships last year identified the vast majority of his points played at the grass court event were a maximum of just two touches for each player – four shots total. Three out of every four points (75%) were in the 0-4 shot rally length, where he carved out his most significant point-total advantage (+27) over his five opponents.

Alcaraz played a dominant 75 per cent (521/696) of all points in the 0-4 shot rally length to win the first grass court title of his career last year at the cinch Championships. The first four shots include: serve, return, Serve +1 (first shot after the serve), Return +1 (first shot after the return)

Alcaraz won 27 more points than his opponents in 0-4 shots, 20 more points in 5-8 shots, and just nine more points in rallies of nine shots or longer. What enabled Alcaraz to be so strong in shorter rallies was his serve performance. He won 50 of 56 (89%) of his serve games, made 66 per cent (236/357) of his first serves, and won 76 per cent (179/236) of them.

Alcaraz’s primary first-serve strategy involved pulling opponents off the court to immediately open holes to attack.

First Serve Location: Deuce Court Wide = 44% (57) Body = 25% (33) T = 31% (41)

First Serve Location: Ad Court Wide = 44% (46) Body = 21% (22) T = 35% (36)

Alcaraz sent down 25 aces and committed nine double faults for the tournament. He had 39 per cent (91/235) of first serves unreturned, and 18 per cent (20/112) of second serves didn’t come back into play, helping facilitate his “first strike” strategy. Impressively, he saved 73 per cent (16/22) of break point opportunities on serve, which was a full ten percentage points higher (66%) than his personal tour average.

When it came to second serves, Alcaraz almost exclusively went with a kick serve to his opponent’s backhand return location (note: all five opponents were right-handed).

Second Serve Location: Deuce Court: Wide = 7% (4), Body = 35% (18), T = 58% (30)

Second Serve Location: Ad Court Wide = 45% (27) , Body = 45% (27) , T = 10% (6)

When rallies did develop, it was Alcaraz’s forehand that did the most damage from the back of the court.

Total Groundstrokes: Forehands = 58% (379) , Backhands = 42% (278)

Shot Quality: Forehands = 8.5 (379) , Backhands = 7.3 (278)

Shots In: Forehands = 82% (309/379) , Backhands = 79% (221/278)

Average Speed: Forehands = 73 mph, Backhands = 60 mph

Carlos Alcaraz won his opening round match of the cinch Championships 6-1, 7-5 against Francisco Cerundolo on Tuesday with similar match metrics to his successful 2023 campaign. Alcaraz won 39 points to 33 in the 0-4 shot rally length, put 81 per cent (55/68) of forehands in the court and held serve nine times out of 10. It was an ideal first match returning to grass and an ominous warning to opponents that he is picking up right where he left off from lifting the silverware last year.

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