Novak Djokovic says Carlos Alcaraz is "a completely different player" than Rafael Nadal but highlighted that the 20-year-old Spaniard brings out the very best in him whenever he is preparing for their match. Djokovic, 36, and 37-year-old Nadal have had one of the greatest and most iconic tennis rivalries.
With Nadal sidelined this year, Alcaraz stepped up and formed an outstanding rivalry with Djokovic. On Saturday, Djokovic and Alcaraz clashed for the fourth time this year, with the Serb winning 6-3 6-2. Djokovic maybe routinely beat Alcaraz in Turin but they had a couple of thriller battles earlier this year.
Most notably, Alcaraz beat Djokovic in a five-set Wimbledon final while the Serb beat the Spaniard in the longest ATP final ever at the Cincinnati Masters.
Djokovic asked if he sees some Nadal in Alcaraz
“No, I don't.
They are different players. In terms of the maybe great occasion and the feeling of the intensity on the court that he brings, there is some similarity. But he’s a completely different player from Rafa. He’s one of the most complete players that I ever faced in my career.
It’s quite impressive for his age that he’s able to play consistently well for now several years already, and he’s the youngest-ever No 1 in the world that we had. A brilliant career already, and I think it’s quite obvious that he’s going to have a brilliant career full of success in the years to come.
He’s still very, very young. But, he does bring the best out of me. He makes me prepare for the match as best that I possibly can. That’s where I probably would compare it to the preparations that I had in the matches against Nadal or Federer, where I had to come out every single time at the peak of my abilities in order to win against them," Djokovic explained in his press conference after beating Nadal, via Express-Sport. In Turin, Djokovic expressed his hope to meet Nadal at least one more time before the Spaniard's retirement.