Tennis-Alcaraz pain-free heading into French Open but still concerned

tennis-alcaraz pain-free heading into french open but still concerned

FILE PHOTO: Tennis - Madrid Open - Park Manzanares, Madrid, Spain - May 1, 2024 Spain's Carlos Alcaraz reacts during his quarter final match against Russia's Andrey Rublev REUTERS/Susana Vera

(Reuters) - Carlos Alcaraz is no longer feeling pain in his forearm after an injury cut short his claycourt swing but the twice Grand Slam champion said on Friday that he is still apprehensive about hitting balls with full intensity at the French Open.

The 21-year-old withdrew from the Monte Carlo Masters and the Barcelona Open due to the injury and although he attempted to retain his title in Madrid, going out in the quarter-finals, he also skipped the Italian Open.

"I'm feeling better. Every practice that I have done here, at home, it was pretty good. I'm feeling better and better," Alcaraz told reporters.

"At least I can practise, hit balls without pain. That's a really good point for me. I'm excited to play my first match here in Roland Garros.

"I'm still thinking about it when I'm hitting forehands. Probably I'm going to say I'm a little bit scared about hitting every forehand at 100% (intensity)."

The world number four has played only four matches on clay this season.

"Honestly, I come here to this tournament with not too many matches, not as much matches as I wanted, but I'm focusing on the practice," he said.

"I'm practising well. I'm getting rhythm. I'm getting confidence on the practice that I think is really important, and I think I don't need too many matches to get to my 100%."

When asked about his injury, the Spaniard smiled and said he did not know exactly what went wrong with his arm.

"I just focus to do the things that the doctors and my team told me that I have to do. That's it," he said.

"What I remember is they told me that this is not going to be serious, it's not going to take too much time. I'm not feeling any pain in the practices when I step on the court."

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Ed Osmond)

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