Novak Djokovic ‘backs himself’ to resist Carlos Alcaraz challenge
Novak Djokovic says he would like another opportunity to face Carlos Alcaraz at the French Open – and he believes he would have the edge in a best of five match.
If Djokovic and Alcaraz both win their next two matches at the French Open, they will face each other in the semi-finals.
Both players booked their places in round four on Friday, with Djokovic beating Aljaz Bedene and Alcaraz overcoming Sebastian Korda.
Last month Alcaraz announced his arrival as a genuine force by beating Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic back to back before winning the Madrid Masters.
They, though, were best of three matches, and while Djokovic has naturally been impressed by the Spaniard, he still backs himself to get the best of him.
“In Alcaraz’s case, I mean, obviously, he has surprised everyone with his results this year,” Djokovic told Eurosport.
“It’s, you know, he deserved it, obviously, is a hardworking guy, very talented. You know, we all praise him a lot.
“Now it’s time to go back to ourselves. We do appreciate his game and what he’s bringing to tennis. No, no doubt.
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“You know, Grand Slam is different, playing best of five, so, of course, the experience that Rafa and I have and guys like Tsitsipas and Zverev that have been already there for a few years, could help.
“But it’s not necessarily, I think, the deciding factor in who is gonna take the win or take the match.
“You could see that both Alcaraz and Zverev struggled, both of them on last round saving match points. So you know you can’t take anything for granted.
“You can’t underestimate any opponent. As I said, Grand Slam really awakens, uh, the biggest motivation and inspiration to play your best for every single player.”
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