Carlos Alcaraz keen to play Novak Djokovic at his peak – ‘When he’s 100 percent, he’s the best’

Shahida Jacobs
Novak Djokovic and Alcaraz
Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz

Carlos Alcaraz is looking forward to playing Novak Djokovic when he is at the top of his game and it will no doubt be a marker for who is the best men’s tennis player in the world at the moment.

The duo have been the two most consistent players on the ATP Tour for just over a year now as Alcaraz has won seven titles – including the US Open and three ATP Masters 1000 tournaments – since February 2022.

Djokovic has also won seven titles and his tally includes Wimbledon, this year’s Australian Open, the ATP Finals and the one Masters trophy.

They have also hogged the No 1 spot in the ATP Rankings with Djokovic replacing Alcaraz at the top on the back winning at Melbourne Park in January before the Spaniard returned to No 1 after winning at Indian Wells last week.

And while the No 1 ranking and titles are always a good indicator of who the best player in the world is at any given time, many tennis fans are more interested in seeing players go head-to-head before forming an opinion.

Unfortunately for the tennis community, Alcaraz and Djokovic have played each other only once with the match taking place at the Madrid Open last year and the Spaniard winning 6-7 (5-7), 7-5, 7-6 (7-5).

With Alcaraz missing several months due to injury and Djokovic absent from the Sunshine Double due to his unvaccinated status, their next likely meeting will only be on clay.

Back in February Djokovic stated that he is still the best player in the world and, although Alcaraz agrees with him, the teenager is eager to take on the 22-time Grand Slam winner.

“I have played against Novak when he was at 100 percent. I would say in Madrid [last year] he played really, really well. So it was close, ” Alcaraz said.

“I agree with him. When he’s 100 percent, probably he’s one of or the best player in the world.

“What Novak has achieved, the level of Novak, for example, in Australia was unbelievable and really high. As I said before, I really want to play against Novak when he’s 100% and I’m sure I’m going to enjoy it. That’s all I can say right now.”

Alcaraz has also set himself some lofty goals that might sound “crazy” to some people as he hopes to emulate the Big Three of Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer who have dominated tennis for the past two decades.

“At the US Open I fulfilled my dream of being a Grand Slam winner and No 1, but I am a very ambitious boy who constantly sets goals. Right now, my big challenge is to be one of the best in history,” he said.

“It may sound crazy, but I want to be like the Big Three and that is what motivates me to give the best of myself.”

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