Novak Djokovic with a message for Carlos Alcaraz as he prepares for Davis Cup return

Kevin Palmer
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Novak Djokovic is preparing to represent Serbia in the Davis Cup, but hopes for another showdown with Carlos Alcaraz have been dashed.

The world No 1 claimed his 24th Grand Slam title when he won the US Open in New York on Sunday, beating Daniil Medvedev in a draining final.

Yet he has arrived in Valencia to play for Serbia in their Davis Cup Finals Group stage, which will include a clash against host nation Spain.

That could have seen Djokovic and Alcaraz square off once again, this time while wearing national team colours.

Yet Alcaraz pulled out of the matches in Valencia after suggesting he needed to rest following his exploits on American hard courts over the last few weeks.

“I was really looking forward to playing for Spain at the Davis Cup in Valencia, but I have to listen to my body after a very long tour,” Alcaraz said on X, formerly known as Twitter.

That news has been greeted with disappointment by Djokovic, who offered up these comments as he arrived in Spain.

“The truth is that I was hoping to play against Carlos here in Valencia,” said Djokovic as he spoke to reporters on his arrival.

“He is a player whom I respect a lot. Every time I have faced him they have been very tough matches, he is a person and an incredible player.”

He went on to praise the strength of Spanish tennis, with Alcaraz following in the footsteps of 22-time Grand Slam champion, Rafael Nadal.

“First with Rafa, now with Alcaraz, Spain has a great tradition in tennis. But hey, I am from Serbia and these days I am going to do everything possible to win against Spain,” he said.

In Alcaraz’s absence, Alejandro Davidovich is set to take on Djokovic and these two players have a strong bond.

“Alejandro is a friend of mine, he is a very close person to me and my family,” he added.

“In the last two or three years we have trained many times together on the Marbella Tennis club court, it will be a very difficult match for both of us.

“I’m happy to be in Valencia, it’s been a long time since I’ve been here. I think the last time was more than fifteen years ago.”

Djokovic admitted he was ‘tired’ after a series of draining matches over the last month included his epic Cincinnati final win against Alcaraz and then his US Open triumph.

Now he will sprinkle some of his stardust on the Davis Cup, with Djokovic set to play in matches against Spain and the Czech Republic.

“I know he is going to the Davis Cup, after that, he should rest well and regroup”, Djokovic’s coach Goran Ivanisevic told Sportklub.

“I don’t think he will go to China, but he will have to play at least one more event before Turin and the finals. Maybe Paris,” he added.

Djokovic is a winning machine and it seems he is not ready to rest his weary legs just yet.

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