Carlos Alcaraz and Holger Rune took on the impossible racket challenge at the National Bank Canadian Open in Toronto.Neither world No. 1 Alcaraz nor No. 6 Rune played at their best during the ATP Masters 1000 event. Firstly, Rune went out in his opening round after being defeated by qualifier Marcos Giron. Meanwhile, whilst Alcaraz progressed further into the tournament, he struggled to find his most successful form and ended up crashing out in his quarter-final match against twelfth seed Tommy Paul.
Nevertheless, both Alcaraz and Rune can take a more fun memory away from Canada after facing each other in the impossible racket challenge.
Alcaraz and Rune’s impossible racket match
Their impossible racket challenge was played within the normal rules of tennis, except that the winner was decided through a tiebreak to ten, making it a much quicker game.
The major difference came in the structure of the rackets, as more than half of the strings were removed. Therefore, as Rune put it, “hitting it perfect and right out of the center is the only option.” The two 20-year-olds appeared to be having fun while still trying to win the game. Rune took an early lead of 2-0, but Alcaraz equalized quickly to make it 2-2. They both also regularly checked in with the camera crew, giving updates between points.
“I’m feeling pretty comfortable right now, but it’s tougher than it looks like,” said Alcaraz after equalizing.
Rune edges past Alcaraz
As the match went on, Rune went ahead again to 4-2. At this point, the players realized that the lack of umpires and officials could make their scoring a little difficult, as Alcaraz hit a shot just outside the line. Rune called it out, while Alcaraz jokingly tried to challenge the call.
Other funny moments from the match were when Alcaraz equalized again after Rune committed a double fault, and the Spaniard claimed it was part of his ‘plan’ all along to be trailing before equalizing.The Dane also jokingly cried “New rackets, please”, and as he edged toward match point decided to try and hit a tweener on serve, only to see it fly straight into the net.
Eventually, Rune took the victory 10-6, and the players shook hands at the net, pretending as though it were a real match with Alcaraz saying “You deserve it, man.” As the video drew to a close, the two-time Grand Slam champion could also be heard jokingly adding “Give me 30 strings and I’ll get you.”
They’re the best in the world with normal tennis rackets.
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) August 11, 2023