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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Friday April 26, 2024

Carlos Alcaraz’s first match since the Miami Open was a success on Friday at the Mutua Madrid Open, though there is still some worry about his injured right forearm after the two-time defending Madrid champion dispatched Russia’s Alexander Shevchenko in his first match since the Miami Open (6-2, 6-1).

Tennis Express

The good news? Alcaraz, who wore a sleeve to protect his right arm, felt no pain.

The not so good news? The Spaniard says he doesn’t feel ready to hit his forehand at 100 percent.

“I didn't hit my forehand 100 percent,” he told reporters after improving to 13-1 lifetime at Madrid. “I hit it softer than I used to hit it, but I think it helped me to stay relaxed.”

Alcaraz, who had to pull out of Monte-Carlo and Barcelona due to the injury, says his priority for the moment is not to blast forehands, but to ensure that he can get through a match pain-free. In that regard, the 20-year-old passed with flying colors. Additionally, he seems to be learning something about how to play his forehand at less than full power as well – an added bonus.

“The first thing that I was thinking about when I was stepping on the court is to stay healthy, to not feel anything in the forearm,” he said. “That's the main thing for me. And then it was the shots or the level – I was really happy to not feel anything in the forearm, and after that, I could increase my intensity. I could increase my forehand a little bit, and it was great for me this match.”

Second-seeded Alcaraz, bidding to become the first player in Madrid Open history to complete a successful threepeat, will put his talents – and 12-match Madrid winning streak – on the line against Thiago Seyboth Wild in the third round at Madrid.