Carlos Alcaraz sends message to Novak Djokovic as he addresses Golden Slam prospect
Carlos Alcaraz recognised Novak Djokovic has shown “year after year” that he is “prepared” to win the Golden Slam, but warned his rival he is “here to prevent it.”
The current world No 2 also declared that being the top-ranked player in the world “has always been my dream” but insisted he is “not looking for the record.”
Djokovic won three of the four Grand Slam tournaments this year, with Alcaraz the only player to defeat the Serbian in a Major with his five-set Wimbledon final victory. It was the fourth season of Djokovic’s career where he won three Majors, following stellar campaigns in 2011, 2015 and 2021.
In 2021, Djokovic won the first three Grand Slam events in a historic run, but missed out on a medal at the Tokyo Olympics, before losing the US Open final to fall one win short of a Calendar Grand Slam.
The world No 1 will have another opportunity to complete a Golden Slam (winning all four Majors and an Olympic gold medal in a season) next season – with 2024 an Olympic year.
After winning the 2023 ATP Finals, Djokovic mentioned the possibility of a Golden Slam when asked how he keeps himself motivated and if it is possible to improve on this year.
“Well, you can win four Slams and Olympic gold (smiling). Let’s see. I mean, I have always the highest ambitions and goals. That’s not going to be different for the next year, that’s for sure,” he said in his press conference.
No male player has achieved a Golden Slam – with Steffi Graf the only woman to accomplish the staggering feat in her amazing 1988 campaign.
Speaking to the media ahead of an exhibition event in Mexico, Alcaraz addressed the prospect of his 36-year-old rival having an unprecedented 2024 season.
“Djokovic has shown year after year that he is prepared to win the four Grand Slams and the Olympic gold, but we are here to prevent it, along with other players capable of defeating him,” the Spaniard said, as reported by EFE.
“Prepare your TV to follow me in 2024, because it’s going to be a year full of energy and good times. I try to focus on my career. My dream is to be considered one of the greatest in history.”
Alcaraz, who became the youngest world No 1 in ATP history after winning the 2022 US Open, also discussed what it means to sit top of the rankings.
“Being number one in the world has always been my dream. I achieved it very soon, being the youngest in history,” the 20-year-old said.
“We are not looking for the record, far from it, but to reach that dream. I wouldn’t have minded if it had been at 25. We are in the tennis record books, which makes me very happy too and I hope it continues for many years.”
Djokovic and Alcaraz faced off four times this year, with the Serbian winning three encounters to take the head-to-head series to 3-2 in his favour.
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