Carlos Alcaraz sounds off on 'really bad' shot clock rule after shock Queen's loss

Alcaraz wasn't happy with the shot clock rule that is being trialed in Queen's after his round-of-16 loss to Jack Draper.

by Dzevad Mesic
SHARE
Carlos Alcaraz sounds off on 'really bad' shot clock rule after shock Queen's loss
© Getty Images Sport - James Fearn

New three-time Grand Slam champion Carlos Alcaraz wasn't impressed at all with the shot clock rule that's being trialed at the Queen's Club this week, pretty much ripping it as nonsense and describing it as "something bad" for the players. 

Alcaraz, the top-seeded player and the defending champion in Queen's this week, suffered a shock round-of-16 defeat on Thursday after rising British star Jack Draper handed him a 7-6 (3) 6-3 defeat in an hour and 40 minutes of play. But dealing with Draper - who won his first ATP title in Stuttgart last week - wasn't the only issue for Alcaraz as he also appeared to be uncomfortable and tense with the tournament trialing an even faster shot clock rule. 

For quite some time now, there has been a shot clock rule on the ATP Tour - after calling the score, a chair umpire presses the button that starts the 25-second shot clock. But in Queen's, the 25-second shot clock starts instantly after the point is over, which takes away a couple of additional seconds players usually have to rest between points. 

For 21-year-old Alcaraz - who was playing his first tournament since lifting his third Grand Slam title at the French Open - everything was going too fast as he said afterward that he "felt he was in a rush all the time." Then, Alcaraz proceeded to explain in detail all the negative sides of this specific shot-clock rule. 

Carlos Alcaraz
Carlos Alcaraz© Getty Images Sport - James Fearn
 

Alcaraz: I was rushing all the time... This is bad for the players 

“He [Lahyani] told me that there is a new rules, this new thing, that the clock never stop. After the point is finished, the clock is putting on," 2023 Queen's champion Alcaraz said after the loss to Draper.

“I think for the player is something bad. I mean, I finish the point at the net, and I had no time to ask for the balls. I mean, I’m not saying to go to a towel and taking my time. I feel like I can’t ask for the balls. It’s crazy. I have time just to ask for two balls and no bounces.

“I think I have never seen something like that in tennis. If you play a long point or finish at the net, you have time just to go for a towel or ask for your routine, ask for, in my case, four balls, I’m concentrating for the next point, just bouncing my bounces, and serve as best as I can. Today I felt like I was in a rush all the time. I had no time to bounce and do my routine. Of course it’s something bad for the players, I think.”

Carlos Alcaraz
Carlos Alcaraz© Getty Images Sport - James Fearn
 

Alcaraz reveals his plans for the upcoming days after his Queen's exit

When Alcaraz came to Queen's to start his grass season there and defend his title, he was certainly hoping to have a run that would go deep into the week. But that didn't happen after the Spanish world No. 2 exited the tournament in the round-of-16 on Thursday. 

After getting to play just two grass matches in Queen's this week, Alcaraz plans to stay in London and hit the practice court, where he will try to work on some things before Wimbledon. Also, coach Juan Carlos Ferrero - who wasn't with Alcaraz in Queen's this week - is set to join the 21-year-old over the weekend. 

“I don’t think I’m going to go back home. I think the best way to be better on grass is to stay here, practice with players, physically doing good stuff on grass and the movement, really specific things. In Spain or at my home, we don’t have grass courts or really grass places just to practice," Alcaraz explained. 

“I’m going to stay here. I have to talk with my team, but yeah, I’m close to Wimbledon, so as soon as I can, I’m going focus on the practicing with players, practicing and everything, and I hope to be better.

“I don’t know exactly day that Juan Carlos is coming. I don’t know if it’s on Sunday or Monday. But, he’s hungry. I know that. As I said, right now I’m hungry just to be better, to practice, and that’s all I have to do."

Carlos Alcaraz
Carlos Alcaraz© Getty Images Sport - James Fearn
 

Alcaraz maybe didn't manage to defend his Queen's title but he warns that he will enter Wimbledon determined to defend his title and become a four-time Grand Slam champion.

"I’m really excited to be starting Wimbledon. Of course I really want to win every title that I go, and I think Wimbledon is even more special. I have time, and excited to start the first match on Centre Court," Alcaraz said.

Carlos Alcaraz Jack Draper
SHARE