Carlos Alcaraz fires warning to Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic after Wimbledon win

Wimbledon: Five talking points ahead of championship

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Carlos Alcaraz came through a rollercoaster first round to declare that if he plays well he can beat Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic to the Wimbledon title.

The clay-court specialist struggled for 4 hours 11 minutes to see off Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff 4-6, 7-5, 4-6, 7-6, 6-4 on No.1 Court.

But while he insisted he was not one of the favourites for the tournament despite his recent form at the French Open, he does feel he is in with a chance.

“Obviously if I play well, I have the level to win the tournament,” he said. “But there are a lot of more experienced players on grass, more players play better on grass than me.
“I don’t feel the pressure because I rank myself not one of the favourites to win this tournament.

“But I am still getting experience playing on grass and enjoying every match.”

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At least the 19-year-old Spaniard could be grateful his Wimbledon bed is only five minutes away from the All England Lawn Tennis Club after his campaign got underway in such a tiring fashion.

“For me, it is better to rent a house near here,” he said, “Because to take a car like one hour every day to go and one hour to come back is tough, even if you are sitting.
“You get tired after two hours or three hours in a car every day.

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“To stay a part of everything with your team and to be normal, stay at house is important. Of course, here the club, like five minutes walking or two minutes by car, is easier for everything.”

Having made a meal of seeing off his first-round opponent, at least he was not responsible for preparing the post-match dinner.

Although he did insist: “I do cook a little bit – I’m not good at cooking, but I try.”

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More important food for thought is how he adapts to a relatively untried surface if he is to progress deep into this tournament.

“I would say playing on grass is tough for me because the movement is tough,” he added. “Well, it is more difficult to move on grass than other surfaces.

“I would say to play four hours on grass is tougher than the other surface, even if there are not long rallies.

“A long rally here is like three or four long rallies on other surfaces.

“So for me it is tougher to play a marathon match on grass than the other surface.”

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