Former 22-time Grand Slam doubles champion Pam Shriver absolutely loves Carlos Alcaraz's approach to his rivalry with Novak Djokovic, saying it's great that the Spaniard is openly acknowledging how much it means to him to be better than the Serb.
After losing to Djokovic in the French Open semifinal - in a match where some felt the Spaniard was the favorite - the 20-year-old responded in a quite impressive way, beating the Serb in the Wimbledon final. A few weeks after Wimbledon, Alcaraz and Djokovic delivered another thriller as the Serb saved a match point en route to beating the Spaniard in a three-hour and 50-minute Cincinnati Masters final.
After the US Open, Djokovic replaced Alcaraz at the world No 1 spot and the Spaniard has repeated several times since that his big goal is to regain the top spot before the season ends. Also, Alcaraz recently said Djokovic is on his "mind" every time he practices.
Shriver on the Alcaraz-Djokovic rivalry
"Well, I think that's part of building a rivalry, right? I mean it's really been special what has happened since Roland Garros because that was the semifinal that everybody wanted.
I guess they played in Madrid the year before, but they hadn't played in a Major. And then even though it did not end up great because of the loss of condition by Alcaraz, the first two sets were just mind-blowingly great. And then in the Wimbledon final, the same.
So whenever you can get two great matchups late in a Major that are that memorable, a rivalry is born. And I love the fact that Alcaraz just says out front, 'I think about him [Novak Djokovic] every day. I don't know if he thinks of the number 23, because that would be a little intimidating," Shriver said on Tennis Channel's Inside-In podcast, via Sportskeeda. Currently, Djokovic has 11,545 ranking points while Alcaraz follows with 8,715 ranking points.