Young duo could challenge Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic versus the youth brigade appears to be how the French Open is shaping up with 20-year-old Carlos Alcaraz made the favourite for the title.
Alcaraz has impressed across the clay swing to emerge as the hot pick to win the French Open.
Most pundits agree that Alcaraz and Djokovic rank as the strongest candidates for the title.
Former WTA world No 1 Chris Evert believes that a late tournament meeting between Alcaraz and Djokovic would be a blockbuster.
“Alcaraz is just primed for this title,” Evert said during Eurosport’s tournament previews.
“He has to stay healthy, because he’s been playing a lot. Like everybody else jumps on the bandwagon when you talk about Carlos because he’s phenomenal. And I feel like I feel like we’ve never seen this versatile player with so much passion and so much hunger in such a long time.
“The guy has it all. He’s got the athleticism, he’s got the skill set, he’s, he knows defence, he knows offence, he moves. Unbelievable. He has no weaknesses. He’s just got to me if he keeps himself healthy and hungry then I think the title is his. Novak and Carlos would be a great match.”
Evert feels that Jannik Sinner and Holger Rune will soon start to force themselves into the Grand Slam discussion.
She feels these two in particular have a good shot of causing a stir in Paris.
“Saying that, I think there’s some outsiders – Jannik Sinner has come a long way,” Evert added.
“I think that working with Darren Cahill has really made him more professional. It’s made him stronger physically. And he has gone toe to toe with Carlos Alcaraz a few times.
“I’ve been impressed with Holger Rune. Lately, I think he’s dangerous. I don’t think he’s going to win the tournament, but I think he could knock out a top player. Of course, he’s already number seven right now, but I think, he’s just physically strong and he has a lot of determination.”
Fellow pundit Barbara Schett feels that this time around, the old hand Djokovic will have the wood over the younger guys.
However she added that she was sure that Alcaraz would win the French Open at some point in his career.
“Physically Carlos is on a different planet but he also shows a lot of skill.
‘It is a joy to watch him play, he is paying the best tennis of his life at the moment, but you can never write off Novak Djokovic as he has the experience of winning so many finals.
“I would still put my money on Novak at Roland-Garros,” Schett proclaimed
“Alcaraz has won six tournaments this year and the way he played in Madrid and Barcelona, he is full of confidence.
“He has taken tennis to a whole new level which we didn’t think was possible after witnessing the big three in the past. I think he can win it and I’m sure he will win it future.”
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