For any ATP Tour player, a successful season always takes a physical toll. Stringing together great results also means playing a huge number of matches each week. And that is what Carlos Alcaraz has done in the first quarter of 2022.
The Spaniard has played a total of 20 matches in four tournaments — plus a Davis Cup tie — this season, with a win-loss record of 18-2. In other words, the No. 11 in the ATP Rankings has won 90 per cent of the matches he has played so far this year, helping himself to the Rio de Janeiro and Miami titles along the way.
At 18 years of age, Alcaraz is still racking up a lot of new experiences. One of them is covering a large number of kilometres on court against the best players in the world. In Indian Wells and Miami, he faced four players who are in this week’s Top 10: Rafael Nadal (4), Stefanos Tsitsipas (5), Casper Ruud (7) and Cameron Norrie (10).
“Although this effort may be new to his body, it’s not for his team,” said Juanjo Moreno, Alcaraz’s physiotherapist, in an exclusive interview with ATPTour.com detailing the work done by the professionals behind the success of the man from Murcia. “We know how the body responds to these types of exertions. We have both the experience of Juan Carlos Ferrero and the science from the medical and technical team.”
Moreno provides the master plan for Alcaraz’s physical work, just as Alberto Lledó does in preparation and Juanjo López on the medical side. Sergio Hernández is also part of the physiotherapy work, while Alcaraz receives care in Murcia from Alejandro Sánchez in preparation and Fran Rubio in recovery.
“Imagine how much experience Juan Carlos has of high-intensity, long-duration exertion, coupled with short rest time. Also, science has advanced a lot and the team makes every strategy that has been shown to be effective available for Carlos’ recovery,” adds Moreno, who was in his box during the week at the ATP Masters 1000 in Miami.
The Foundations & Secrets Behind Alcaraz’s Success
Despite it being the first time he has been exposed to this kind of exertion, his team has prepared him for it in such a way that he is able to take it in his stride.
“It’s our working philosophy. It has become part of our lifestyle, to the extent that it’s normal for us,” explains Moreno. “We prepare Carlos so that he can cope with these short, high-intensity matches and that his body is able to recover by means of the physiotherapy and recovery resources available to us.”
Every detail counts and that is the message that has been drilled into the Spaniard by his entourage over the last few years.
“The aim has always been to be safe rather than sorry. In the team, we have established very good physical work for him, from which he also acquires some healthy sporting habits, in which recovery and restorative sleep play an important role,” Moreno continued.
“Fitness work, nutrition, rest, recovery… all of that requires hard work as part of a lifestyle we have tried to instill in him. These are the values the team believes in and it’s our way of working every day.”
This is what Moreno defines as a hard-work culture, something he has integrated into his routine.
“If I had to single out two of Carlos’ strengths, it would be talent and the culture of hard work the team has taught him,” he said. “We have managed to instill in him the fact that, without hard work, the talent will not reach its potential and that at this level it is necessary to take care of every detail.”
And that is what Alcaraz has done. The results speak for themselves.
– This story first appeared on ATPTour.com/es