Carlos Alcaraz’s feisty comments on Novak Djokovic clarified by his coach

Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic during a match

Carlos Alcaraz has admitted he thinks about his great rival Novak Djokovic every time he steps on a tennis court, yet those comments should not be seen as evidence that the Wimbledon champion has become obsessed with his battle with the world No 1.

That’s the verdict of Alcaraz’s coach Juan Carlos Ferrero, who told Marca that Alcaraz’s statements on Djokovic are not as significant as they may seem.

“Novak Djokovic is on my mind in almost every practice. I have to practice my best,” said Alcaraz. “I have to go for 100 per cent in every ball to be able to catch him.

“He is 100 per cent focused. I watch his practice, his movement and the way he plays and trains and it is something I want. He puts 100 per cent in every practice and game and it is something I am trying in my game.”

Those comments led some to conclude Alcaraz had become obsessed with his rivalry Djokovic, but his coach has insisted that is not the case.

Former world No 1 Ferrero suggested comments and suggested Alcaraz was merely stating his desire to be the best player in tennis when he said he watched to try and match Djokovic.

“We don’t usually talk about ‘we’re going for Djokovic, we’re going to play everything thinking about that’,” said Ferrero

“But it is normal that it comes to mind because when there are two of you, what you think about is fighting to be one.

“In the end you play against a lot of people, not just Novak. To get there you have to beat many others first.”

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There have been suggestions that Alcaraz is hitting the ball with less ferocity since his victory over Djokovic in the Wimbledon final, with world No 3 Daniil Medvedev among those making that observation.

Alcaraz silenced those comments by beating Medvedev at the ATP Finals on Friday and Ferrero believes the 20-year-old has lost some of his intensity due to mental fatigue.

“All players arrive with excess kilometers at the end of the year, there are many weeks in which tournaments are played,” he added.

“The best take on more games, more pressure, almost the obligation of having to win in almost every tournament.

“That excess luggage can weigh more some weeks and Carlos is having a bit of an effect. I think that professionally he has to start learning that the world of tennis is from January to November.

“He has to take his breaks, but this is a wheel, which continues, and it is a job and it is what you have to be at.

“Many times the lack of punch (in Alcaraz’s shots) is related to the fact that physically one is not quite well, with the same strength. I attribute it to mental freshness.

“I spoke with him before starting this tournament. Mental freshness makes you make good decisions in games, when to shoot, when to shoot a little slower, where to serve, the decision-making is much clearer.

“When you are at the end of the season, all these things are not seen as clearly and the ideas are less, you see the smaller track and it is easier to miss the shots. When you fail, try not to fail and that makes you play slower.”