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Carlos Alcaraz Forehand Analysis
Despite being so young, Carlos Alcaraz has one of the most potent forehands the ATP tour has ever seen! His ability to crack huge bombs off at will is one of the most impressive aspects of his game.
However, there is more to his forehand than simply slapping balls around the court and hoping for the best. His meteoric rise to the top of the men’s game has been massively helped by his ability to stay aggressive, whilst controlling his god given power.
Alcaraz is definitely a clean ball striker, and his footwork is second to none. Not only does he manage to get to balls that 99% of the tour would struggle to, but he is also great at using his footwork to be aggressive too. Carlos manages to get his forehand into play so often that it can be used as a devastating weapon against anyone.
Want to find out the secrets of Carlos Alcaraz’s unbelievable forehand? Well you’ve come to the right place!
Who is Carlos Alcaraz?
Carlos Alcaraz Garfia, to give him his full name, is a Spanish tennis player who has taken the world by storm.
Born in Murcia, the young prodigy burst onto the tennis scene back in 2021 when he beat the in-form Stephanos Tsitsipas at the US Open.
Just 18 years old at the time, he produced one of the most flawless performances we’ve ever seen. On that day, he managed to strike the ball so cleanly for 5 full sets and take out the Greek in a nail biting match.
This served as a spring board for Alcaraz to have an outstanding start to the 2022 season, being the youngest player ever to win the Rio Open, Miami Open and Madrid Open.
Alcaraz has a very complete game overall. He moves incredibly well, is very composed and mentally strong, is comfortable transitioning to the net and doesn’t really seem to have a single weakness.
If you had to pick out one shot in particular that sets the young Spaniard apart from his peers, it would have to be the forehand.
The way he can turn a point on its head and dictate with his forehand is very much like Roger Federer in the early days of his career. In fact, many have compared Alcaraz to both Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, citing his incredible athleticism and fighting spirit.
So, let’s take a closer look at what specifically makes Carlos Alcaraz’s forehand so great.
What Makes his Forehand Great?
There are a number of things that all of the biggest forehands of all time have in common, and Carlos Alcaraz certainly ticks a lot of these boxes.
Whilst he is still in the fledgeling years of his career, his forehand is still a major force to be reckoned with. He still has a lot of room to grow, which is actually quite a scary thought considering how good his forehand is already!
Arguably the most impressive aspect of the Carlos Alcaraz forehand is simply how powerful it is!
Carlos is not necessarily the tallest tennis player out there at 6ft tall, but his technique, raw strength and timing all play a major role in making his forehand such a powerful weapon.
He can strike the ball with unbelievable pace from literally anywhere in the court. Short balls, low balls, deep balls or even heavy topspin balls can be dispatched by the Alcaraz forehand in one fell swoop.
Even the legendary tospin of Rafa Nadal isn’t enough to stop Carlos, as the 19 year old beat the king of clay in Madrid earlier this year.
Alcaraz is able to produce so much power due to his near perfect biomechanics, technique and unit turn.
He takes the racket back so far with his off hand which ensures his shoulders, hips and torso are fully turned to the back of the court before he strikes the ball.
This ensures he gets the maximum uncoiling of his body just as he makes contact with the ball, giving him the maximum momentum and power in his forehand.
Another area of Alcaraz’s forehand that is so impressive is his spin. The Babolat Pure Aero VS he uses definitely plays its part in generating as much spin as possible, but Alcaraz’s loose wrist, leg drive and insanely fast racket head speed all combine to produce those RPMs.
He drives up at the ball at a very steep angle, which makes his forehand incredibly heavy to face.
The combination of power and spin help him push his opponents back behind the baseline, giving him a weaker, short ball to step in and attack.
One of the most underrated things about the Alcaraz forehand is his impeccable timing. The fact that he can strike the ball so cleanly, with so much power, so consistently is partly because his timing is so good.
Not that many people factor timing into a great forehand, but it is an essential part of developing a great weapon that can redirect pace and keep your opponent off balance.
Alcaraz manages to prepare his racket very early which gives him plenty of time to complete his backswing and get his entire body weight into his forehand.
The most fundamental factor that makes Alcaraz’s forehand so fierce is his technique. He utilises a high elbow and almost exaggerated unit turn to get his racket behind his body, giving himself so much space to complete a full backswing.
He can then swing his racket underneath the height of the ball with such venom and power, whipping up the back of the ball to produce so much topspin and pace.
He keeps his wrist laid back right before contact to emphasise wrist lag, again adding to his power and spin potential.
Overall, Carlos Alcaraz is one of the most complete, powerful and talented young tennis players on the ATP world tour today.
His forehand is a stand out shot that many experts have compared to the greats like Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
Alcaraz’s forehand is a fearsome combination of spin, power, timing and technique and proves that with the proper coaching and practice, even a young player can reach the heights of the men’s game.
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