Carlos Alcaraz and Iga Swiatek form power duo by teaming up at US Open

Alcaraz enjoys unusual cool-down method

Carlos Alcaraz and Iga Swiatek have become accustomed to playing on their own as the top-ranked tennis players in the sport, but the world No 1s decided to join forces to become a tennis power duo at an exhibition event. The US Open men’s and women’s singles champions took to the court at Arthur Ashe Stadium to provide the crowd with entertainment as they formed the ultimate doubles team – only they weren’t playing tennis on this occasion.

The two reigning US Open champions had been asked to join forces at the Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day ahead of the final Slam of the 2023 calendar in New York.

The event occurs annually and takes place at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre in memory of tennis icon Arthur Ashe, the American who contributed to helping young people through the means of tennis.

The pair took on comedy group Dude Perfect with a fun game of foot-tennis with a giant ball, with Swiatek and Alcaraz showing off their ball control and heading skills, a change from how they enjoy dominating their opponents with their rackets.

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But even with the ball at their feet rather than in their hand, both players had the quality to make the rallies last long as they enjoyed light-hearted rallies with their celebrity opponents.

The crowd certainly seemed to relish seeing them in action before they get down to business when the main draw begins on Monday. Alcaraz will face Dominik Koepfer on Wednesday in his first-round clash as the 20-year-old begins his title defence.

Alcaraz has been thriving off the back of his victory over Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon in July, although he lost out to the Serbian in the final of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati before heading to New York.

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Swiatek has found the going somewhat tougher after losing at SW19 in the semi-finals, and the Pole says she will take what she learned from last year’s tournament to help prepare for her title defence.

“That’s a tough question because on one hand you always want to kind of take experience from last year, find all these positive things that happened, take strength from that,” Swiatek said.

“On the other hand you have to remember that it’s totally different story. A lot can happen during like these 12 months. So I try to, yeah, take everything step by step, not really go forward with my thoughts, think that I need to do something more because last year I won.

“Remembering this is a totally different chapter always help. I also want to kind of just take a lesson from last year. I learned a lot during US Open. This was probably the most important tournament in terms of me believing in myself and progressing on hard courts. I’ll try to just focus on that. As I said, yeah, take everything step by step.”

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