Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic - Roland Garros 2023

Carlos Alcaraz ‘is going to carry our sport’ claims Novak Djokovic

Carlos Alcaraz has beaten Novak Djokovic in an exhibition match to win the Riyadh Season Tennis Cup, and has been backed by his opponent to lead the sport for the next 10 to 15 years.

Alcaraz came from a set down to beat Djokovic, 4-6 6-4 6-4, as he continues his off-season preparation ahead of the Australian Open.

And Djokovic was full of praise for the Spaniard, “It’s fantastic to have Alcaraz in our sport. He is one of the leaders of this sport today and he is going to carry our sport for the next 10 to 15 years. We are going to see a lot of him, tennis is in good hands.”

The pair have played each other four times across the 2023 season, with Alcaraz’s only victory over the Serb coming in the Wimbledon final.

After winning the exhibition contest, Alcaraz returned praise to the world No.1, “It’s incredible to share the court with him in this event and in official tournaments.”

The 20-year-old continued, “I am learning from him. After watching him win the big tournaments I always dreamed about being in this position and playing against him face to face.

“I am really happy to play with him and hopefully, I can keep going. He seems like he is 20 so we are going to share the court more than once. I want to congratulate him and thank him for playing this match with me.”

While Alcaraz is not entered into any official ATP tournaments prior to the Australian Open, Djokovic has already arrived in Perth for the United Cup.

Inside the baseline…

Although this exhibition match is of no real significance in the grand scheme of things, it will definitely be a confidence booster for Carlos Alcaraz who has lost his last two meetings with Novak Djokovic. They clearly both have a lot of respect for eachother, while knowing that they are probably going to be the closest rivals at the biggest tournaments in 2024.

READ NEXT: Novak Djokovic reveals why he’s ‘grateful’ for Rafael Nadal

 Join >> Receive $700/£600 of tennis gear from the Tennishead CLUB

 Social >> FacebookTwitter & YouTube

 Read >> World’s best tennis magazine

 Shop >> Lowest price tennis gear from our trusted partner 

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.