‘Carlos Alcaraz cannot achieve great results in a diesel mode like Novak Djokovic’, says former ATP star

Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz at the net

Feliciano Lopez has claimed that Carlos Alcaraz “cannot achieve great results in a more diesel mode” in the way Novak Djokovic can as he needs to “have spark.”

The former world No 12 suggested Alcaraz’s dip in form towards the end of the 2023 season is down to him playing “at an enormously demanding level.”

Alcaraz had a career-best season this year, winning six titles and compiling an excellent 65-12 (84.4%) record as he finished as world No 2 behind Djokovic.

The 20-year-old won two Masters 1000 crowns, two ATP 500 tournaments and an ATP 250 title, but the highlight was his triumph at Wimbledon — where he overcame his Serbian rival in an epic five-set final

Following his victory at the All England Club in July, though, Alcaraz did not claim another title and reached one final in the eight events he played.

The Spaniard lost four of his last six matches of the season, although he made an encouraging run to the semi-finals of the ATP Finals in Turin in his debut at the event.

The two-time Grand Slam champion recently explained that maintaining a higher level level for the full season is a significant area of focus heading into 2024.

“The year is very demanding, very long, and the last part of the season has cost me a lot. Approaches that I have to improve for next year – realising that the season continues until November, not having those ups and downs,” he told the media during an exhibition event in Mexico.

READ MORE: Legendary coach disagrees with Boris Becker’s comments about Carlos Alcaraz

In an interview with AS, Lopez addressed Alcaraz’s comments and offered his assessment of why the young star found the last few months of the campaign challenging.

“The thing is that he plays every week at an enormously demanding level. When you aspire to be in the finals or win the tournaments, it is different and much more stressful than it can be for most. His comment is the result of learning. He’s only 20 years old, sometimes we forget that,” said the Spaniard.

“Furthermore, he plays with a lot of intensity, he needs to be fresh, have spark. He cannot achieve great results in a more diesel mode, like Djokovic, who sometimes starts matches at a slow pace, until he finds his moment and is already invincible.

“Maybe what has happened to him is that at the end of the year he has not felt as comfortable, as fresh, it is normal. Because it has happened to everyone, until they learn and get to know each other.

“Carlos still does not have a database large enough to say, ‘here yes, here no, I’ll get ready here, I’ll leave this’. It’s very complicated. And everything that is happening to him, what he is experiencing so soon… it is a tsunami that comes into your life at 20 years old and it is difficult to manage it.

“That’s why I give so much credit to what he’s doing. Because he doesn’t scare him, he has enough maturity to assimilate it, the courage to face Djokovic, who is the best player, for many, in history, without fear.”

READ MORE: Cameron Norrie gives five reasons why Carlos Alcaraz is a better player than Jannik Sinner in feisty interview