ATP

Alcaraz wants to play against Djokovic at '100 per cent'

By Sports Desk March 29, 2023

Carlos Alcaraz does not disagree with Novak Djokovic's assertion of being the best player in the world, as the Spaniard outlined his hope of facing the 22-time major winner at full fitness.

Alcaraz has played Djokovic once before, overcoming the Serbian en route to triumphing at last year's Madrid Open.

The teenager's success in Madrid marked his fifth tour-level title, and his second at an ATP 1000 event.

Earlier in March, Alcaraz claimed his third ATP 1000 title with victory at the Indian Wells Open, seeing the 19-year-old leapfrog Djokovic – who has been unable to compete in the United States due to his COVID-19 vaccination status – back to the top of the world rankings.

Djokovic claimed in interview with The National in February that he was still the best player in the world when at 100 per cent fitness.

Alcaraz, for his part, shares that view.

"Well, it is tough one, but, I have to play against Novak when he's at 100 per cent," Alcaraz told reporters after beating Tommy Paul at the Miami Open, where he is defending champion.

"I would say in Madrid he played really, really well. So it was close. But I agree with him. When he's 100 per cent, probably the best player in the world.

"What Novak has achieved, the level of Novak for example in Australia was unbelievable, really high.

"So as I said before, I really want to play against Novak when he's 100 per cent and I'm sure I'm going to enjoy it. That's all I can say right now."

Alcaraz remains on course for the Sunshine Double – winning both the Indian Wells Open and Miami Open in the same season.

"I try not to think about that but it's difficult," he said. "You know, it's something that I really want. I want to be part of the few players that won the Sunshine Double.

"So for me, would be great to achieve that, but it's something that I try not think about and try to think about day by day, match by match, and that's all. 

"But of course it could be great to be part of that group of few players."

Eleven players, including Djokovic – on four occasions – have won the Sunshine Double, with WTA number one Iga Swiatek the latest to achieve the feat last season.

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    Buoyed by his eagle-eyes, Murray followed this up with a first break point opportunity and, while it came and went, the 36-year-old did break Shapovalov at the next time of asking to move 3-1 up.

     

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