Carlos Alcaraz Australian Open 2022

‘He’s definitely one of the main favourites’ – Novak Djokovic heaps pressure on Carlos Alcaraz for Roland Garros glory

World number one Novak Djokovic has labelled Spanish sensation Carlos Alcaraz “one of the main favorites” for the French Open title as he heaped pressure on the young Spaniard ahead of only his second Roland Garros appearance. 

Carlos Alcaraz has been in scintillating form taking the tour by storm.

The youngster landed record-breaking titles at both the Rio Open in February and in the Miami Open in April as he become the youngest ATP 500 champion as well as the youngest ever Miami Masters champion.

But it is on the clay where the man from Murcia seems to excel.

Last month he claimed his first tour-level clay court title at the Barcelona Open thanks to a victory over Pablo Carreno Busta in the showpiece event, before getting the better of Alexander Zverev in the Madrid final.

En route to the title in the Spanish capital, the new world number six beat both Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal becoming the first man to ever defeat Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal back-to-back at the same tournament on clay.

Speaking following his loss to Alcaraz in the semi-finals, Djokovic argued that the young Spaniard “is special” and there is “no doubt” he is one of the main contenders for the French Open title later this month.

In a recent interview, the 20-time Grand Slam champion told reporters, “[At] Roland Garros, he’s definitely one of the main favourites, no doubt, even though he has never reached the second week of a Grand Slam.

“With everything recently that he has achieved, he deserves to be one of the favourites. He definitely is special. Already he’s breaking a lot of records as a teenager, winning two Masters events this year, a couple of [ATP] 500s.

“So far he’s the best player in the world, no question, this year. The way he was dealing with the pressure. I mean, in our match a few days ago, how calm he was all the way, was impressive. He deserved to win the trophy.”

The Serbian’s comments come after Rafael Nadal said this week that Alcaraz “can beat anyone in the world” as the 35-year-old also heaped more pressure onto the 19-year-old’s shoulders.

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