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Will Carlos Alcaraz dominate the clay court season?

By Sigurd Neubauer


Carlos Alcaraz, 19, easily defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas, 24, 6-3, 6-4 during the final of the 2023 Barcelona Open.

Alcaraz is ranked as world No. 2 and Tsitsipas No. 5. 

“If Alcaraz stays healthy, he has now established himself to be the favorite to win the upcoming French Open, ” says Vesa Ponkka, the President of the Junior Tennis Champions Centers (JTCC).

Alcaraz opted not to participate in The Monte-Carlo Masters because of injury. We have covered the tournament in a separate article.

Alcaraz has recovered from injury
Stefanos Tsitsipas at the 2023 Barcelona Open. Photo credit: Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images

For Ponkka, who is one of America’s preeminent coaches, he paid particular attention to Taylor Fritz’s, 25, performance.

“He’s seen as a hardcourt player but played fantastic in the Monte-Carlo Masters. “It’s a great sign for the French Open.”

Fritz is ranked as No. 10 in the world and is the highest ranked American player.

Vesa Ponkka is one of America’s preeminent tennis coaches. Photo credit: Courtesy 

In Monte-Carlo, Fritz lost to Andrey Rublev in the semi-final. The Russian, who is ranked No. 6 in the world, won the tournament. Fritz defeated Tsitsipas in Monte-Carlo, who has won the tournament twice.

On what’s next for the grueling world of men’s tennis, Ponkka explains that “it will be interesting to see over the next couple of weeks who the top eight to 10 players will be during the clay court season.”

The veteran coach’s advice is to keep an eye on Fritz, Alcaraz, Holger Rune, and Rublev.


The Barcelona Open (currently sponsored by Banc Sabadell) is an annual tennis tournament for male professional player 
A confident Carlos Alcaraz. Photo credit: Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images
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