Carlos Alcaraz makes admission about Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal fans supporting him against Novak Djokovic
Carlos Alcaraz has declared that it is “an extra motivation and a joy” to have fans of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer cheering him on when he plays Novak Djokovic.
The two-time Major champion also revealed that he appreciates comparisons with the ‘Big Three’, but does not set out to copy any players as he wants to feel he is “100% Carlos Alcaraz.”
Alcaraz has frequently been likened to tennis legends since his rise to the top of the sport, with Djokovic paying the Spaniard high praise after losing to him in an epic Wimbledon final in July.
“I think people have been talking in the past 12 months or so about his game consisting of certain elements from Roger, Rafa, and myself. I would agree with that. I think he’s got basically the best of all three worlds,” the Serbian said.
“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.”
Alcaraz defeated world No 13 Tommy Paul 7-6, 6-3 in an exhibition match in front of close to 30,000 fans in Mexico City on Wednesday.
Speaking to the media in Mexico ahead of the exhibition event, Alcaraz addressed comparisons made between him and the legendary trio and discussed his rivalry with Djokovic.
“I perceive that I am Carlos Alcaraz. We don’t set out to copy any style from any of the three,” the 20-year-old said, as reported by EFE.
“Obviously, for someone like Djokovic to say that I have the best of the three best players in the history of our sport, for me it is wonderful, but really, inside, I want to think that I am not any combination of any player. I want to feel that I am 100% Carlos Alcaraz.
“These three great players have had an influence on me and practically all tennis players. I grew up watching them play Grand Slam finals. I have worked hard, I had a clear dream that I have pursued. I have had the opportunity to play with Djokovic and Rafa, but not with Federer, I would have loved it.
“Playing against a legend like Novak Djokovic is not easy. It is a joy to have been able to beat him twice. We have played incredible games, which have been very close. I hope that in the future we continue sharing that rivalry, sharing the court, and that other very good games await us.”
The world No 2 also divulged he is aware of the extra support he receives from fans of Djokovic’s biggest rivals when he faces the Serbian.
“I’m a guy who watches social media a lot and every time I face Djokovic, there are always fans cheering me on. It is an extra motivation and a joy to have those fans of Rafa or Federer perhaps, not all, but a large part, cheering me on when I play against him or against any player. It is wonderful,” Alcaraz added.
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