Carlos Alcaraz - Indian Wells 2023

Carlos Alcaraz reveals Novak Djokovic ‘wish’ after sunshine double ban

Carlos Alcaraz has revealed what he thinks about Novak Djokovic not being able to play the sunshine double, with the US not allowing unvaccinated people to enter the country until the 11th May.

Alcaraz regained the No.1 ranking from Djokovic with his Indian Wells win and confirmed that the tournament was made ‘easier’ with the 22-time Grand Slam champion not there.

However, the Spaniard admitted that the tennis fan in him wanted Djokovic to be there, “Look, the truth is I’m a player, but I’m also a fan of tennis.”

He continued, “And in the end, having the best players in each tournament and being able to compete with the best is always good. Nobody wants to see people missing tournaments, especially me.”

“I wish Djokovic were in every event and I could play against him and share the locker room with him and learn from him up close.”

Alcaraz has played Djokovic on one previous occasion, beating him on the way to the Madrid Masters title last year and confirmed he wants to challenge the Serb again.

“I mean, Novak is one of the best players in the world. That’s obvious,” claimed the 19-year-old. “You know, I will say that if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best. I really wanted to play against Novak again. We miss him on tour, and hopefully have him back very, very soon. But yeah, of course it could be amazing to play against him again.”

The US Open champion lost his No.1 ranking to Djokovic at the Australian Open, after he had to withdraw due to a right leg injury and he has since revealed how disappointed he was to miss the first major of the year.

“That was rough: to miss Australia, a Grand Slam I really wanted to play and thought I would have my chances to win,” said Alcaraz.

He added, “But it made me learn from the things I wasn’t doing right. You can be on court for two or three hours a day, but it’s also about how you take care of yourself outside the court: to rest, eat well, take the right supplements.”

Alcaraz dethroned Djokovic with his maiden title in the desert, but if he is to remain there he will need to retain his title in Miami and become the youngest man to win the sunshine double in the same year.

The Murcian will start his title defence at the Floridian Masters 1000 event with a bye to the second round, before taking on either Facundo Bagnis or a qualifier.

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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.