Carlos Alcaraz - Shanghai Masters 2023

Carlos Alcaraz reveals ‘extra motivation’ to end Novak Djokovic streak

Carlos Alcaraz is eyeing an Australian Open final against Novak Djokovic, as he looks to become the first player to beat the Serb at the tournament since 2018.

Alcaraz has opted to not compete in any official warm-up tournaments to the Australian Open this year, instead playing exhibition matches against the likes of Djokovic, Alex de Minaur and Casper Ruud.

However, he does not seem concerned about his preparation, “I think I’m a guy who doesn’t need so much competition before a big tournament. Obviously [it] always helps [but] I think I’m prepared to do a good things here in the Grand Slam.”

It will be only Alcaraz’s third appearance at the Melbourne major when he plays his first round match next week, after missing the tournament last year through injury.

Despite this, the Spaniard is looking to end Djokovic’s winning streak of 28 consecutive matches at the Australian Open, with his last defeat coming in 2018 to Hyeon Chung.

“It’s an extra motivation for me. I’m an ambitious guy,” said Alcaraz. “I always want to play against the best players in the world to see what is my level.”

He continued, “Obviously it’s a good test, playing against him [Djokovic] in the tournament where he’s almost unbeaten. I’m looking to reach the final and hopefully playing a final against him. It would be great obviously. But, yeah, knowing those stats, it’s an extra motivation, for sure.”

Alcaraz beat Djokovic in the exhibition in Saudi Arabia, but lost his last official match to the world No.1 at the year-end ATP Finals.

The Wimbledon champion will return to the Australian Open against tour veteran Richard Gasquet, with the match set to take place on Tuesday.

Inside the baseline…

Carlos Alcaraz is an interesting prospect at this years Australian Open for many reasons, but especially as he is yet to surpass the third round of the tournament in his young career. The 20-year-old obviously has a lot of hard court pedigree, having won the US Open back in 2021, but will need something special to beat Novak Djokovic in Melbourne. However, Alcaraz does have the bragging rights of being the only player to beat Djokovic in a Grand Slam match last year (Wimbledon final).

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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.