Novak Djokovic - US Open 2023 and Carlos Alcaraz - Shanghai Masters 2023

Carlos Alcaraz admits he is not at Novak Djokovic’s ‘level’

Carlos Alcaraz has given an honest review of his ATP Finals defeat to Novak Djokovic, that brought an end to the Spaniard’s 2023 season. 

Alcaraz was beaten by Djokovic, 3-6 2-6, in his semi-final in Turin and after the match spoke about how difficult it was to compete against the world No.1.

“He plays the same level during the whole match,” said Alcaraz. “The shot quality he has is unbelievable. He plays really, really deep. It’s really difficult to take advantage from that. Once again, he has shown why he’s the best player in the world.”

He continued, “I feel like I am not in his level in indoor court obviously. I’ve played great matches in Wimbledon, in Cincinnati, in Roland Garros. I felt in that match that I’m in the level. Obviously, he has more experience than me playing in these tournaments, in these courts.”

Alcaraz served 10 aces against the Serb, but suggested that his game lacked in other areas last night, “It’s not about just serving against him. He has a great return game. Unbelievable, I’m going to say. As I said, he pushes you to a limit in every ball, every shot.

“Probably, I played great points, but it was like one great point, then three, four points just mistakes. The first ball went out, something like that. Against a player like Novak, you cannot do that.”

Alcaraz has in-fact beaten Djokovic twice this season, but the 20-year-old revealed he wants to forget about these matches as he moves onto the 2024 season.

“This match help me a lot coming into the pre-season,” said Alcaraz. “Right now I know all the things I have to improve if I want to be there, if I want to beat the best player in the world.”

“With Juan Carlos [Ferrero], we have to talk about the pre-season, what we have to practise, what we have to do. Obviously, I’ll rewatch the match to see my weakness, just to improve it and be a better player.

The world No.2 added, “I will forget all the matches that I played against him, the Wimbledon final, the Cincinnati, Roland Garros, and I’m going to focus on this match because I felt like I have to improve a lot of things if I want to stay at his level.”

As Alcaraz exits Turin, Djokovic is attempting to win his seventh ATP Finals title later today to move ahead of Roger Federer, when he takes on home favourite Jannik Sinner.

Inside the baseline…

Although things haven’t quite gone to plan for Alcaraz since winning Wimbledon, it has still been an incredible season for the Murcian. This has included being the only person to beat Djokovic at a major tournament this year, and adding two Masters 1000 titles to his resume. When you consider that Alcaraz has managed to win more ranking points in 2023 than 2022, despite missing the Australian Open, he has a lot to be proud of and to move forward with.

READ NEXT – Davis Cup Finals 2023 Preview: A guide to the ‘Final 8’

Carlos Alcaraz vs Novak Djokovic head-to-head

With his latest victory in this budding rivalry, Djokovic moves ahead in the head-to-head with Alcaraz for the first time:

Alcaraz vs Djokovic: 2-3

  1. Alcaraz beat Djokovic, 6(5)-7 7-5 7-6(5) (Madrid Masters Semi-final 2022)
  2. Djokovic beat Alcaraz, 6-3 5-7 6-1 6-1 (Roland Garros Semi-final 2023)
  3. Alcaraz beat Djokovic, 1-6 7-6(6) 6-1 3-6 6-4 (Wimbledon Final 2023)
  4. Djokovic beat Alcaraz, 5-7 7-6(7) 7-6(4) (Cincinnati Masters Final 2023)
  5. Djokovic beat Alcaraz, 6-3 6-2 (ATP Finals Semi-final 2023)

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.