Daniil Medvedev has simple response to what is wrong with Carlos Alcaraz

(Photo by KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images) /

Carlos Alcaraz is still ranked No. 2 on the ATP tour. The way he is struggling, however, is there might be a bigger fight for his current ranking than Novak Djokovic’s No. 1 at the beginning of 2024. Daniil Medvedev, the current No. 3, is not going away any time soon and already knows he can beat Carlos Alcaraz just as he did in the semifinals of the US Open.

Part of Alcaraz’s current issues are mental and not physical. He admitted to as much after his loss to Alexander Zverev this week in his first match at the ATP Finals. Said Alcaraz, “I have to improve to reach this point of the year in better condition, especially on a mental level. This tiredness and mental exhaustion is probably due to a fairly high demand for so long.”

We should also give the 20-year-old some credit. Expecting a tour veteran to be mentally fresh at the end of such a long tennis schedule is one thing, but for someone who is still basically starting their tennis career and is so young in age to know how to truly prepare themselves for high-stress year-end tournaments is another. Carlos Alcaraz will be a long-term great player, but he simply isn’t old enough yet to be at his best when October and November come around.

Daniil Medvedev might know what is troubling Carlos Alcaraz

After Daniil Medvedev won his first ATP Finals match on Monday, he was asked about the Alcaraz and Zverev match. Medvedev said the difference between Carlos Alcaraz now versus the Alcaraz in early summer is he is playing “slower.” The slowness might simply come from diminished confidence.

But Medvedev stressed that all players go through the same issue when they are young. The Russian said that Novak Djokovic also had the same problem when Djokovic was younger.

Basically, a player lacking full confidence is going to be thinking about each swing a bit more than a player not suffering from a lack of confidence. Thinking about how to react to a shot instead of instinctively going after the ball when the ball is hit at high velocity is going to cause problems.

Carlos Alcaraz has too much ability to not get back to being great. He could even sweep through the rest of the ATP Finals. Right now, however, Alcaraz simply looks like a top ten ATP player and nowhere near being No. 1 in the world.

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