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Carlos Alcaraz Racket and Strings (Weight, String Tensions and More)
Carlos Alcaraz has become one of the most prolific and successful young players on the ATP tour in the last year. Busting onto the scene out of nowhere and claiming some huge titles and high profile scalps along the way, Alcaraz is one to watch.
Whilst Carlos Alcaraz has an explosive and interesting game, it’s fair to say his choices in equipment aren’t quite as cutting edge. Many tennis experts have compared the young Spaniard to Rafael Nadal, but there are also clear similarities with Federer and Djokovic.
The obvious route to call out for Alcaraz is that of Rafa. Being from Spain, so successful so young and with seemingly unbelievable athleticism, Alcaraz is an obvious successor to the king of clay.
However, where Nadal relied on consistency and loopy topspin balls in his early career to outlast his opponents, Alcaraz likes to finish points on his terms with his massive forehand. This is where the comparisons to Federer come in.
Alcaraz hits his forehand with a straight elbow at contact, much like both Federer and Nadal. Like Federer, Carlos uses his forehand tactically to build points and aggressively push his opponents behind the baseline.
He is also more than happy to take the ball on and finish points at the net, as his volleys are pretty impressive.
What’s more, the aggressive movement and sliding that Alcaraz possesses can be compared to the great Novak Djokovic. He is incredibly strong out of the corners and can turn defence into attack at a moment’s notice.
Another way that people like to liken Alcaraz to Nadal is with his racket and string choices. They are quite similar to Rafa’s on the face of it, as Alcaraz uses the all new Babolat Pure Aero VS.
Many pro players will actually use pro stock rackets that are much stiffer and heavier than the ones you and I can buy in our local pro shop. They may even use an older model that is just painted to look like the brand new model they’re endorsing.
However, as far as we can work out, Alcaraz is simply using the standard Pure Aero VS, not even the Tour version!
His actual racket specs are pretty hard to get hold of, but there is no visible lead tape to speak of and he appears to be using the standard version of the racket.
Therefore, the specs below reflect the racket you can go out and buy in the shops today!
Racket: Babolat Pure Aero VS
Strung Weight: 325g
Lead Tape: No
Length: 27 in
Grip: L2 Babolat Leather Grip with Babolat VS Original Feel Overgrip
String Pattern: 16×20
Whilst most pro players opt for hybrid setups that use a firm polyester string paired with a softer natural gut or multifilament to balance it out, Alcaraz is a little different. He simply uses the tried and tested Babolat RPM Blast in both the mains and crosses.
His tensions are 55lbs in the mains and 53lbs in the crosses, but that is about the only different thing about his string setup compared to Rafa’s.
Given how Alcaraz likes to play the game, using a full bed of a spin friendly poly actually makes a lot of sense.
He loves to rip the ball with a lot of topspin and his light weight racket will give him plenty of racket head speed and power. So, taming this natural venom with a stiffer poly string allows him to keep the ball under control when he is swinging at such high velocity.
However, we have recently seen Alcaraz suffer from some elbow issues, as he has been seen wearing an arm sleeve to help his blood flow and recovery.
Maybe his stiff strings are a cause of the pain, or it could simply be the high volume of matches he’s played in 2022.
Why Are These Combinations a Good Choice for Carlos?
Given that Carlos Alcaraz is one of the best ball strikers on the planet and is relentlessly aggressive with his tactics, it does make sense that he opts for a lighter racket paired with a stiffer string.
Many players these days are actually favouring lighter frames as racket technology has improved so much.
Even rackets at around the 300g mark feel much more stable and responsive than a decade ago, whilst also having much better vibration damping.
This means even professional players who need incredibly high tolerances, can play with lighter rackets and generate racket head speed more easily than ever before.
Alcaraz sets himself apart from the rest of the new crop of young tennis players by how early he can take the ball whilst also striking it so cleanly, and simply so damn hard!
His racket and string combination clearly help him do this more effectively, since he can swing his lighter racket with ease, yet his spin friendly, stiff strings help keep the ball under control.
Thinking About Your Own Game
Sometimes, it can be easy to get muddled with all of the different racket and string options out there, especially when you are just starting out on your tennis journey.
However, Carlos Alcaraz proves that keeping things simple and sticking to what you know can pay huge dividends. If something isn’t working or you feel uncomfortable with your equipment, then by all means feel free to change things up.
But, if you have a racket and string combination you like, then forget what everyone else says and stick with it!
If you aren’t sure which rackets, strings or tensions are right for you, give our custom fitting service a try. We take the hassle and stress out of finding your perfect racket and string combination!
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