Inspired Novak Djokovic reveals source of his motivation as he hammers Carlos Alcaraz
Novak Djokovic confirmed he is still the man to beat in tennis after a sensational win against Carlos Alcaraz at the ATP Final – and then he revealed where he gleans his motivation from.
Djokovic eased past number two Alcaraz 6-3 6-2 at Pala Alpitour in Turin and will face Italy’s Jannik Sinner in the final on Sunday.
After winning the first set, an early break in the second put the Serbian in charge of the contest.
Alcaraz failed to convert any of his four break points during the match and two missed opportunities in the second set let Djokovic off the hook and he took it 6-2 to seal his place in the final.
Djokovic lost to Sinner, the world number four, for the first time in a group-stage match on Tuesday.
Earlier on Saturday, Sinner became the first Italian to reach the final of the ATP finals when he beat Daniil Medvedev 6-3 6-7 (4) 6-1.
The home favourite took two hours and 29 minutes to win, recovering from losing the second set tiebreak.
As he faced the media after his third win from five meetings with Alcaraz, Djokovic revealed he is still inspired by the sense of injustice after he was deported from Australia last year over his refusal to take a Covid vaccine.
“I guess last year’s circumstances I used as a fuel for this year,” said Djokovic, who was also banned from entering America for a series of tournaments due to his Covid vaccine status.
“I have had an almost perfect season, Grand Slam season. That mattered the most to me. Ended the year as No 1 in the world, and reached really all the objectives that I had.
“Broke many records, made history of the sport. Of course, I’m thrilled with the season. But one more match to go. Hopefully I can crown the season with another win.”
Djokovic went on to pay triubute to Alcaraz, although he stepped back on previous comments comparing his rival to his Spanish compatriot Rafael Nadal.
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) November 18, 2023
“I knew from the beginning it would be very intense,” he added.
“We have played four times and he is one of the most complete players I have faced in my life. Very dynamic, very fast and capable of doing many things on defense and offense.
“It’s a great victory for me. I served well when I should, it was an almost perfect match on my part.”
When asked about Alcaraz’s similarities to Nadal he added: “They are different players. In terms of the 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 now for several years already, & 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, yeah, 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.”
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