World No. 1 Novak Djokovic called Carlos Alcaraz a hardworking and very talented player and admitted he has been positively surprised by the 19-year-old's results in 2022. Alcaraz, who just turned 19 this month, has won four titles this season, including two Masters titles in Miami and Madrid.
Following his great first five months of the season, Alcaraz rose to a career-high ranking of No. 6 in the world. Alcaraz is considered as someone who will be the face of the men's game for many years in the future. “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."
Djokovic and Alcaraz could meet in the French Open semifinal
Djokovic and Alcaraz clashed for the first time earlier this month in Madrid. In a match that lasted three and a half hours, Alcaraz claimed a tight three-set win.
Djokovic's path to winning the French Open could include Alcaraz and he suggested he will be ready if that happens. "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," Djokovic added.
“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”.