Slam legend details ‘Nick Kyrgios problem’ that Carlos Alcaraz may be experiencing

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Mats Wilander weighs in on Alcaraz’s form and results since Wimbledon.

Former seven-time Grand Slam champion Mats Wilander thinks Carlos Alcaraz may be dealing with something that troubled Nick Kyrgios in the past as the 20-year-old Spaniard has set a certain standard in the entertainment area and some people not only expect him to win but to also deliver a show out there.

Alcaraz, who will be turning 21 in May, won his first Grand Slam and reached the world No. 1 spot when he was just 19 in 2022 before winning six out of his 10 tournaments played in 2023. After winning Wimbledon for his second Grand Slam title, Alcaraz stunningly lost himself and didn’t win a single title in the remainder of the year.

That streak continued at the start of the 2024 season before Alcaraz finally ended his eight-month title drought at the Indian Wells Masters. After Indian Wells, Alcaraz was hoping to also make a strong Miami Masters run bit his campaign there ended with a surprise and disappointing quarterfinal defeat to Grigor Dimitrov.

“Carlos Alcaraz is dealing with something that maybe Nick Kyrgios had to deal with at times, which is people are expecting more of Carlos Alcaraz than just winning tennis matches,” Wilander told Eurosport.

“They are expecting him to hit great shots, to make these unbelievable saves defensively and then turn it around.

“I think for him, it’s going to be quite tiring throughout a whole career to always feel like not only does he have to win, but he does feel like I have to perform in the entertainment part.

“I think falling out of the top two, it’s most probably a little bit of a relief.”

Alcaraz’s admission after his Indian Wells win

After going 10 straight tournaments without winning a title, Alcaraz’s 13th title finally came in Indian Wells, where he was the defending champion. Shortly after clinching his second Indian Wells title, Alcaraz got pretty candid about how it felt to finally win one as he used the word “difficult” to describe months after Wimbledon and he also admitted that he reached a point where playing tennis was starting to not feel enjoyable anymore.

“Well, yeah. It’s difficult to put it into words, because I had really difficult months. Let’s say the last two months it was difficult for me to find myself. I didn’t enjoy, let’s say, stepping on the court. I wasn’t myself on the court the last two months, let’s say, two months, three months, so it was difficult for me,” Alcaraz said after ending his title drought in Indian Wells.

“Yeah, it means a lot to me, lifting this trophy, winning this tournament, because I overcome a lot of problems in my head, a lot of problems physically. It was so special for that. Not that I didn’t win a tournament since Wimbledon.

“For me, it doesn’t matter. It’s about the feelings, as I said. For me, if I win tournaments or not, I don’t care. It’s about enjoying playing tennis, once I step on the court, putting my game. It’s what only matters.

“That’s why I’m really, really happy to lift this trophy, because I found myself at this tournament, and I felt really, really good.”

Alcaraz suffers a setback, forced to miss the Monte Carlo Masters

This week, Alcaraz was slated to launch his clay season at the Monte Carlo Masters.

Over the weekend, Alcaraz’s forearm was pictured being taped and it was reported that the Spanish tennis star ended his practice early. That instantly raised concerns and worried his fans that he could withdraw from Monte Carlo.

On Tuesday, exactly that happened as Alcaraz announced that despite his efforts, he would not be able to play on the clay courts of Monte Carlo.

“I have been working in Monte Carlo and trying to recover until the last minute from an injured pronator teres in my right arm, but it was not possible and I cannot play. I was really looking forward to playing. See you next year!” Alcaraz announced on X on Tuesday.

So far in his career, Alcaraz has surprisingly played just one match in Monte Carlo. In 2022, Alcaraz had a first-round bye in his Monte Carlo debut before losing to Sebastian Korda in the second round.

Last year, Alcaraz pulled out of Monte Carlo due to an injury. This year, the same happened.

Now, Alcaraz’s focus is on recovering from his arm issue and being able to play at next week’s Barcelona Open.

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