‘Carlos Alcaraz impressive, but Novak Djokovic still the best and extremely close to being the GOAT’

Shahida Jacobs
Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic pose
Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic pre-match

Carlos Alcaraz is currently “more impressive” than Novak Djokovic in terms of their tennis, but the Serbian is still “the best” and the fact that he is world No 1 despite not being able to play several tournaments proves his quality, according to renowned coach Patrick Mouratoglou.

Following his brilliant 2022 season that saw him win the US Open at the age of 19 and become the youngest-ever world No 1 in the process, Alcaraz is naturally being touted as the future of tennis.

Djokovic, though, proved at the start of the year that he is not yet ready to hand over the mantle as the world’s best player as he won the Australian Open and reclaimed the world No 1 ranking from the Spaniard, who missed the tournament due to injury.

With Djokovic not competing at the Sunshine Double due to his unvaccinated status, Alcaraz then reclaimed top spot after winning the Indian Wells Open. However, the Serbian started his 381st week at No 1 in the ATP Rankings on Monday after the Spaniard failed to defend his Miami Open title.

The two are no doubt the standout players in men’s tennis at the moment, but while some believe Alcaraz is currently ahead, Mouratoglou sees Djokovic as the leader.

“The best player in the world is the world No 1, and it’s Novak Djokovic. If Alcaraz is No 1 tomorrow, we can say it’s Alcaraz. I think Carlos again is an incredible player and I have no doubt that he will be No 1 for years,” the Frenchman, who has coached the legendary Serena Williams as well as the likes of Stefanos Tsitsipas and Holger Rune, said in an Instagram post.

“But for the moment, it’s impossible not to say that Novak is the best. He is not able to play a lot of tournaments for non-vaccinated reasons, and he’s still technically No 1 so that says a lot of his level of play.

“I think Carlos is more impressive than Novak in terms of the tennis he plays. He has so much power, he’s so explosive physically. He also has a touch, but don’t forget that Novak will be the greatest of all time. He is already extremely close to that.

“He is the guy who finds solutions to win, he is a guy who is winning Grand Slams for 15 years, he is a man who arrived at a time that Rafa and Roger were winning absolutely everything, and he was able to arrive, beat both of them and become No 1.

“I understand that people want to put Carlos already at the top, but he’s not there yet.”