The match between Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz in the recent ATP Masters 1000 final in Cincinnati is still well impressed in the minds of all fans. Four hours of pure pleasure, total intensity and technique with the youngster facing the more experienced and finally the rematch after the Wimbledon final.
The new rivalry, for Novak Djokovic, can prove decidedly tougher than the ones he had with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. First of all for the age difference between the two tennis players. Alcaraz is much younger than the Serbian, although the physical difference was more noticeable at Wimbledon than Cincinnati.
Carlitos is also an opponent with a mind of steel, just like Djokovic's. A mental clash, as well as a physical one. With Rafa Nadal, the Serbian had epic matches, in which he spent a lot physically. Against Federer, Djokovic had managed to enter the mind of the Swiss legend, sending him into a tailspin in recent years.
Against Alcaraz the clash is total: technical, tactical, physical and mental. Carlos is probably the toughest and most uncomfortable tennis opponent for the Serbian champion.
Novak Djokovic's words on the rivalry with Alcaraz
Novak Djokovic spoke about this and much more in the press conference prior to the start of the US Open and the Serbian also discussed his past experiences in New York, a tournament that gave him joy but also many pains.
Not only the non-participation last year, but also the disqualification a few years ago or the final against Medvedev which prevented him from scoring the Career Grand Slam. Djokovic explained: "I've lost more finals here than I've won in my entire career.
My final record here is bad compared to other Grand Slams, I remember matches lost on the wire but also challenges won after great battles. In general I have good continuity here but it also matters a lot that we are at the end of the season and we arrive here after eight very difficult months.
I think this is why we often found surprises at the US Open with respect to the continuity of results in the other Grand Slams." Nole talked about the rivalry against Alcaraz, a long-awaited rivalry and all tennis fans wish for another great final.
However, it is early for this and the Serbian also clarified it: "Tennis is a sport where you have several matches and you cannot think of a challenge that you can have in 7 or 10 days. Furthermore, I think it is disrespectful towards previous opponents to talk or think already in the final.
Obviously Carlos is number one and I certainly keep an eye on what he does. My team follows him, I think we know but I think his team follows me too. It's mutual and it's certainly not a secret."