Why Carlos Alcaraz has the edge over Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz joking

Former French Open champion Mats Wilander feels that the incredible physicality and confidence of Carlos Alcaraz make him a different prospect from anyone else Novak Djokovic has faced recently.

Alcaraz doesn’t just run fast and hit hard, he also plays great tactical tennis. Djokovic himself compared Alcaraz to a young Rafael Nadal.

Perhaps that is why Wilander makes Alcaraz the favourite on the clay of Roland Garros.

“Carlos Alcaraz has lit the professional tennis world on fire. People are talking about him more and more. Tactically he has been incredible without losing his identity on the tennis court,” said Wilander on Eurosport.

“Sitting watching him live is incredible. He comes from nowhere and smacks the forehand so hard that it’s nearly a lack of respect for the game itself. He’s OK with people routing for the other guy as we all just want to see more of Carlitos.

“I actually can’t believe he said his confidence is very high, that’s incredible. He is playing Novak Djokovic next and is coming out with these words, it’s different playing someone you’ve beaten a few times before but they haven’t played that many times. It’s just incredible.

“He is superhuman, there is hope for mankind when you see an athlete like Carlos Alcaraz.”

Despite a mixed reaction to Djokovic throughout the French Open Wilander still believes that he will shade the support on centre court at least at the start of the match.

“Well, I mean, they’re going to be behind Novak Djokovic in the beginning, I think,” he said.

“Because I think everybody has to sense that there’s a problem here for Novak Djokovic each. Carlos is playing so well, so I have a feeling that they think that Novak is the one that’s going to have to put up a fight to be honest. And Novak will be able to do that.”

Wilander feels that Alcaraz’s speed across the court could be the decisive factor in their Roland Garros semi-final meeting.

“He [Djokovic] is going to be able to find solutions for sure,” Wilander said.

“But physically, I mean Novak is a genius physically, but the speed around the court that Alcaraz has is just maybe a little bit too much for even Novak.”

Alcaraz and Djokovic meet on Friday in the first of the men’s singles semi-finals in a battle that could also determine who leaves Paris as the world No 1.

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