While it is easy to forget that Carlos Alcaraz is only 20 years old since he has accomplished so much so quickly, there are also two sides to the Spaniard. There is a first half of a year and a second half. In the first halves of years, Carlos Alcaraz is arguably the best player in tennis, but in the second halves, he might not even be a top-three player.
This would seem to indicate that Alcaraz doesn’t yet know how to prepare himself for a full year. We might also assume a few things. One is that while Alcaraz’s ultra-aggressive game is great, all that energy lessens as a long tennis season wears on. Two is that we will probably see a less aggressive Alcaraz game evolve. Three is that he will win later in the year because of having more energy but the same elite skills.
But taking a newfound awareness and applying that to technique can be tough, especially for such a young player who just watched 22-year-old Jannik Sinner get better as 2023 grew old. Alcaraz will need to keep himself under control early in 2024 with the thinking of still being able to defeat Sinner in October and November. And maybe some guy named Novak Djokovic as well.
Carlos Alcaraz needs to learn to pace himself
Carlos Alcaraz does appear to have that newfound awareness, however. Speaking with a small number of people at a tennis clinic at the One and Only Palmilla in Los Cabos, Mexico recently, Alcaraz said, “…another thing I need to be better at is the final part of the season, after the US Open. I need to keep training, and keep maintaining myself and my focus, to have a better finish. It needs to be better than what I did this year.”
The only concern with the above is that Alcaraz says he needs to “keep training,” as if he takes a lot of time off. This does not seem to be the case. What he likely needs to do is learn to pace himself better throughout the year.
If Alcaraz cannot do that, we likely will see the same results every year: He wins a major or two and then fails late or gets injured (as he did in 2022). Jannik Sinner seemingly learned the trick of being great in August and later. Carlos Alcaraz needs to learn the same trick.