‘Carlos Alcaraz’s best level is the best I’ve seen – better than Novak Djokovic’, says former world No 5

Ewan West
Carlos Alcaraz after a match
Carlos Alcaraz celebrates victory

Former world No 5 Jimmy Arias has claimed Carlos Alcaraz is better than Novak Djokovic at his best and that his peak level is the best he has ever seen.

The American argued 23-time major champion Djokovic “can’t get to the level that Alcaraz can”, while lauding the Spaniard for combining strengths of the ‘Big Three.’

World No 1 Alcaraz overcame seven-time Wimbledon winner Djokovic in five sets in the final of this year’s Championships earlier this month.

The triumph ended the great Serb’s 34-match winning streak at Wimbledon and his hopes of tying Roger Federer and Bjorn Borg’s record of five straight men’s titles at the event.

The 20-year-old has now won two Grand Slam titles, following his victory over Casper Ruud in the final of the US Open last year.

Speaking on Tennis Channel’s Inside-In podcast, Arias declared that Alcaraz’s best level is the highest he has witnessed in tennis.

“Before the Wimbledon final, a couple people asked me and I said – and this maybe sounds crazy but – he (Alcaraz) at his best level is better than anybody else. He’s better than Djokovic, Djokovic can’t get to the level that Alcaraz [can],” said the American.

“This is the best level I’ve seen – him at his best. I didn’t know if he was gonna be able to bring it in a Wimbledon final against Djokovic, but I did also know that he’d be more relaxed than he was at the French [Open].

“The French was a strange situation for him because he’s playing a, at the time a 22-time Grand Slam champion, and he’s favourite, by a wide margin. And I thought that was a strange mental hurdle for him.

“In the Wimbledon final, it was the other way. Now Djokovic is favourite and I knew he (Alcaraz) would play relaxed, or I thought he would, but it’s a Wimbledon final.”

The former US Open semi-finalist expressed disbelief at how the Spaniard has implemented qualities from Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer into his game so quickly.

“(On Djokovic) It’s so strange for me to say that the greatest player of all time’s peak isn’t as good as this kid who is 20 years old. But you watch Alcaraz and I don’t know how he’s done it so quickly. He’s sort of taken the ‘Big Three’ and combined all their strengths and put them into himself,” continued Arias.

“He has sort of the offensive weapons of Federer, he’s got the heart of Nadal from what we’ve seen. I mean, how does he serve out the final game at Wimbledon, with playing Djokovic? He made every first serve and Djokovic only missed one return and it still didn’t faze him in any way.”

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