Carlos Alcaraz and other top stars want tennis ball change to avoid injuries
A number of male tennis players, including Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas have struggled with wrist, elbow and shoulder problems recently.
The number of wrist, elbow and shoulder injuries suffered by top male tennis players has been making headlines in recent months, with the likes of Stefanos Tsitsipas and Sebastian Korda missing large spells of the season due to such issues. Others, including US Open finalist Daniil Medvedev and three-time Grand Slam champion Stanislas Wawrinka, have their theory on what’s going on, and recently-deposed world number one Carlos Alcaraz has also waded into the debate.
Alcaraz: “It’s difficult to get used to new balls”
Medvedev and Wawrinka have complained about different balls being used in different tournaments, while Alcaraz, currently competing in the China Open, says many players feel balls change size after being struck. “I noticed it in my first training session here in Beijing. It’s difficult but the players have to get used to it. We use a different ball for every tournament, or almost every tournament. You have to get used to it and it is a different feeling when you arrive at a tournament wondering what the ball will be,” the Spaniard said in a press conference.
Medvedev: “The balls are responsible for all these injuries”
The discussion about ball changes has gained more and more prominence in recent weeks, with Zizou Bergs also posting about it on social media. “I think it’s time to look carefully at the fact that many players are getting wrist injuries which could, possibly, be prevented by not changing every week of balls...,” the Belgian wrote. In agreement, Wawrinka reposted Bergs’ comments on Instagram.
During the ATP Tour’s Australian swing at the beginning of 2023, Medvedev was first to express his concern. “I have a horrible feeling when hitting the ball. I injured my wrist. I thought the problem was mine, but after talking to several players, I think the balls are responsible for all these injuries”, claimed the Russian.