Carlos Alcaraz addresses if ‘superhuman’ Novak Djokovic is among Wimbledon favourites

Ewan West
Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz with Wimbledon trophies
Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz with Wimbledon trophies

Carlos Alcaraz has described Novak Djokovic’s recovery from surgery in time to play at the 2024 Wimbledon Championships as “superhuman.”

The world No 3 proclaimed that he will always put Djokovic “on the list of favourites”, while the Spaniard also discussed his chances of defending his Wimbledon crown.

Djokovic had surgery on his right knee earlier this month after tearing his meniscus during his fourth round French Open win against Francisco Cerundolo.

The 37-year-old Serbian has not missed Wimbledon since his debut in 2005 and is set to make his 19th appearance at the All England Club.

Djokovic has collected seven of his record 24 Grand Slam titles at Wimbledon, with Roger Federer — who has won eight — the only man to claim more crowns at the grass-court Major.

Alcaraz became the first player to defeat Djokovic at Wimbledon since 2017 when he stunned the tennis legend in five sets in last year’s championship match — ending the Serbian’s 34-match winning streak at the event.

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The three-time Grand Slam winner was beaten in the second round of the Queen’s Club Championships in his only event since triumphing at Roland Garros at the start of June.

Speaking in his pre-tournament press conference at Wimbledon, Alcaraz explained he was both surprised and not surprised by Djokovic being in London so soon after his injury.

“I will always put him on the list of favourites,” he said. “I was surprised on one hand that he is here, but on the other hand not, because we all know how he takes care of himself, his diet, his rest.

“I told him the other day that what he does is superhuman. In two and a half weeks he is already playing sets at a very high level. He has already shown that he recovers very quickly.”

The 21-year-old was asked about the prospect of becoming just the sixth man to win the French Open and Wimbledon in the same year.

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“Well, winning Grand Slams is difficult,” Alcaraz cautioned. “Obviously changing from clay to a grass court, totally different surfaces, totally different game of play.

“Let’s say I’m going to try. Obviously, I want to put my name on that short list to win Roland Garros and Wimbledon in the same year.

“I know that there’s going to be a really difficult and big challenge for me, but I think I’m ready to do it. I’ve done great work these last few weeks just to get ready, just to feel comfortable to play Wimbledon here at 100%.”

Alcaraz also spoke the challenging surface changes that will be required after Wimbledon due to the 2024 Paris Olympics being played on clay.

“Well, it’s not easy to change surfaces in just a week,” admitted the Spaniard. “I’m 100% sure that I’m going to play the Olympics. For me it is an amazing event, and an amazing tournament.

“It’s going to be my first one, so I really wanted to live that experience to be in Olympic Games. I’m going to go there and give my 100% for my country.

“Then, of course, it is a really short period that we have when the Olympic Games is finished until Toronto and Montreal.”

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