Carlos Alcaraz opens up on Novak Djokovic loss: 'I cracked under pressure'


Carlos Alcaraz opens up on Novak Djokovic loss: 'I cracked under pressure'
Carlos Alcaraz opens up on Novak Djokovic loss: 'I cracked under pressure'

Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz set a blockbuster Roland Garros semi-final, fighting for a place in the title clash and the ATP throne. Novak scored a 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 victory in three hours and 23 minutes, overpowering the young gun, who could not endure the pressure.

Carlos fought well in the opening two sets and followed Novak's pace, preparing more drama after over two hours of high-quality tennis. Instead, he had nothing left in his body from set number three, struggling with cramps in his entire body and dropping 12 of the final 13 games!

Novak made a flawless start, serving well in the opening three service games and producing an early break to build the advantage. Carlos raised his level in the second part, creating four break points in back-to-back games but failing to convert them.

Djokovic held in the encounter's first game with a service winner and moved 2-1 up with a hold at 30. The Serb grabbed a break in the fourth game following a winner at the net and confirmed it with a fine hold in the next one.

Novak denied three break points in the seventh game to remain in front and extended the eighth game to create a set point. Carlos saved it with a forehand drive-volley winner and earned a break chance at 3-5 with a lob winner.

Djokovic erased it with a service winner and fired another for 6-3 after 56 minutes. The Spaniard found his pace on the return in the second set and turned 43% of the points into two breaks from six chances. They both served well in the opening seven games before Carlos broke for the first time at 4-3 to build the advantage.

Novak broke back in game nine with a backhand down the line winner and denied three set points on his serve in the next one for 5-5. Alcaraz denied a break point in game 11 and grabbed a break at love in the next one for 7-5 and a boost.

The critical moment came in the third set's second game, with Carlos starting to feel pain in his right leg. He received a game penalty for medical help and never looked competitive again.

Carlos Alcaraz could not endure the pressure against Novak Djokovic in Paris.

Novak secured six straight games to wrap up the set 6-1 and become a clear favorite in the fourth.

Djokovic opened a 5-0 lead, and Alcaraz avoided a bagel with a hold in game six. The Serb served for the victory at 5-1 and held at 15 to emerge at the top and move closer to his 23rd Major crown. Despite giving his best, Alcaraz failed to overcome a mental problem and play competitive tennis.

He shortened the points, but it was not enough to keep him safe after getting no help from his serve. The young gun landed only one service winner in sets three and four, needing much more to stay in contention against such a strong opponent.

Novak remained focused despite playing with no rhythm from set number three due to his rival's issues. The Serb had the upper hand on serve and return to bring the victory home in style and set the title clash against Casper Ruud.

"I made mental changes while facing Novak in London in comparison to our Parisian duel. I did not know how to handle the pressure in Paris; it was a Major semi-final, and it's never easy, especially against someone like Novak," Carlos Alcaraz said.

Carlos Alcaraz Novak Djokovic Roland Garros