'Not disciplined' - Carlos Alcaraz under scrutiny after Australian Open as legend says 'you can't do that'

'Not disciplined' - Carlos Alcaraz under scrutiny after Australian Open as legend says 'you can't do that'

WATCH NOW: Sports round-up as Carlos Alcaraz is beaten at the Australian Open

Lewis Winter

By Lewis Winter

Published: 25/01/2024

- 18:38

The Spaniard was knocked out by Alexander Zverev this week

Carlos Alcaraz has come under scrutiny among tennis pundits following his Australian Open exit to Alexander Zverev.

Zverev put in a convincing display on Wednesday to beat the world No 2 in four sets at Rod Laver Arena.

Reigning Wimbledon champion Alcaraz was competing in his first-ever quarter-final in Melbourne.

But he won just four games across the first two sets to put him on the brink of an exit in the last eight.

Carlos Alcaraz

Carlos Alcaraz has received criticism since his Australian Open exit


Alcaraz won a tie-break to clinch the third set and keep his hopes alive but Zverev was too strong, seeing out victory to set up a semi-final against Daniil Medvedev.

The Spaniard's performance saw former Australian Open champion Justine Henin say he 'has a lot to learn'.

And now it has drawn further reaction, with seven-time Grand Slam winner Mats Wilander giving a damning verdict.

Wilander admits he was worried for Alcaraz after the first few points of the match against Zverev, saying he 'can't' afford to start like he did.

And he wonders whether the 20-year-old needs to change his approach in order to fulfil his potential.

Wilander said on Eurosport: "The first few points in the match is what worries most people. You can’t do that when you play against Alexander Zverev.

"You can do that when you play against Rafa [Nadal] or Novak [Djokovic], where you have a chance to break and give yourself some time, but when you’re playing a guy like that, the first two points of [your] service game are huge because [if they] go up a break, that’s it, done.

"In the Wimbledon final against Djokovic, he started serving for the match with a drop shot, lost it, and then hit another drop shot, winning that to hold serve. Do we want him as a fan to change that?

"It’s the same as Nick Kyrgios. I’d like to see him win majors, but do I want him to hit tweeners? I’m not really sure. Alcaraz is sort of similar."

Former Austrian star Barbara Schett also hit out at Alcaraz's performance.

She claimed the 2022 US Open winner lacks discipline. Schett said: "I don’t see him as a showman, really. Nick Kyrgios, Gael Monfils, and Frances Tiafoe are showmen.

"Alcaraz is so young and he has those matches every now and then where he doesn’t have a game plan. He’s not very disciplined with his shot selection.


Carlos Alcaraz

Carlos Alcaraz's approach at the Australian Open has been questioned


"That was the case yesterday. We have to give him some time; those matches don’t happen that often anymore."

Former British No 1 Laura Robson agrees Alcaraz has shown a lack of discipline.

But she doesn't want him to eradicate 'crazy shots' from his game.

Robson said: "There’s no panic for Carlos because he’s having a bit of a slump - I wouldn’t even call it that - post-Wimbledon.

Carlos Alcaraz and Alexander Zverev

Carlos Alcaraz was beaten by Alexander Zverev in four sets at the Australian Open


"A couple of months where he hasn’t quite played as disciplined as he did there.

"It’s a bit of discipline that he's lacking in his game because he wants to for all of these crazy shots, but you can. That’s half the fun. That’s why you pick up a racquet in the first place.

"You don’t want to lose that part of your game. No stress, no drama, and we’re going to be talking about him for another 10 or 15 years."

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