Carlos Alcaraz told to be ‘more boring’ like Novak Djokovic to become his ‘best version’

Ewan West
Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic after a match
Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic enjoy a light-hearted moment

Andy Roddick believes Carlos Alcaraz is “almost like a combination” of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic and is “still finding his way.”

The 2003 US Open champion thinks Alcaraz will become the “best version” of himself when he adds more of Djokovic’s qualities into his game and “makes things a little more boring.”

Alcaraz, a two-time Grand Slam champion who became the youngest ATP world No 1 ever after his 2022 US Open win, has been likened to each of the Big Three since his rise to the top of tennis.

After losing to Alcaraz in an epic five-set 2023 Wimbledon final, Djokovic gave the 20-year-old Spaniard lofty praise by arguing he combines the best qualities from the legendary trio.

“I think he’s got basically the best of all three worlds. He’s got this mental resilience and really maturity for someone who is 20 years old. It’s quite impressive,” assessed the Serbian.

“He’s got this Spanish bull mentality of competitiveness and fighting spirit and incredible defence that we’ve seen with Rafa over the years.

“And I think he’s got some nice sliding backhands that he’s got some similarities with my backhands. Yeah, two-handed backhands, defence, being able to adapt. I think that has been my personal strength for many years. He has it, too.

READ MORE: ‘Waiting to understand how Novak Djokovic is, Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner are ahead’

“I haven’t played a player like him ever, to be honest. Roger and Rafa have their own obvious strengths and weaknesses. Carlos is a very complete player. Amazing adapting capabilities that I think are a key for longevity and for a successful career on all surfaces.”

Speaking on an episode of his Served podcast, former world No 1 Roddick explained why he feels Alcaraz should model his game more closely on that of Djokovic.

“I think in our generation it was like the players wanted to watch Roger because he could do things racquet skill-wise. And Rafa was like this blunt force trauma of physicality and spin,” the American said.

“And Novak is like a wrestler who gets you into holds that you can’t get out of. Whereas, Roger kind of had this grace and he would come out with shots that looked like he was playing video games.

“And now Alcaraz is almost like a combination of all three. He’s still finding his way. I think the best version of himself will be when he gets a little more Novak into his game, where he makes things a little more boring and isn’t spectacular all the time.

“When I was with Andre Agassi in Vegas, that’s kind of what he was saying is that he is so spectacular that the next point of success is becoming maybe a little bit more boring on court and kind of getting people and locking them down and not throwing as many uppercuts.”

READ MORE: The 11 players to bagel Novak Djokovic: only Rafael Nadal has done it twice