ATP pro explains why Novak Djokovic is ‘more impressive’ to face than Carlos Alcaraz

Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz joking

ATP pro Alexandre Muller has declared that Novak Djokovic is “more impressive” than Carlos Alcaraz because the legendary Serb “doesn’t let you breathe” on court. 

The world No 81 described Alcaraz as a “more flamboyant” player than Djokovic and asserted there were games against the Spanish star he “was able to win easily.”

Muller took on eventual champion Alcaraz in the second round of Wimbledon in July and was beaten 6-4, 7-6(2), 6-3 in a contest that was more competitive than his subsequent loss to Djokovic.

The Frenchman was dismantled 6-0, 6-2, 6-3 by Djokovic in the first round of the US Open in August, with the tennis great winning the first eight games of the match. The 36-year-old went on to win his fourth US Open crown, losing only two sets in the tournament.

Following a superb 2023 season during which we won seven titles, including three Grand Slams, Djokovic finished as the ATP year-end No 1 for a record-extending eighth time.

Alcaraz, who claimed six titles, ended the year as the world No 2 in what was the best season of his career to date. As well as Wimbledon, the 20-year-old secured Masters 1000 triumphs in Indian Wells and Madrid.

READ MORE: The 20 countries with the most ATP titles in 2023: Novak Djokovic’s Serbia 1st, United States 5th

Speaking in an interview with Tennis Actu, Muller compared the challenge of facing the two current best players in the men’s game.

“Djoko doesn’t let you breathe. There were 6–0, 2–0, I was afraid. We said to ourselves: ‘Am I going to play?’ Whereas Alcaraz, he is more flamboyant, but I had small games where I was able to win easily. Djokovic is more impressive,” the 26-year-old explained.

After his defeat to Djokovic in Flushing Meadows, Muller outlined the difficulty of facing off with the 24-time Grand Slam champion and contrasted the Serbian with Alcaraz.

“I wasn’t on cloud nine and didn’t play my best tennis, but I played my game. But he was really strong. In addition, I have a game that suits him because I play from the distance and in this area he is better than me,” said the Frenchman in an interview with L’Equipe.

“They are two different games. We talked about it with my coach Gérard Solvès. I told him that against Alcaraz, I knew I was going to score plays. He tries a lot, so he makes a lot more mistakes.

“But against Novak, I felt like if he wanted to put me three times 6-0, he could do it. He’s so solid, he doesn’t give any free points and it’s more complicated for me.

Muller, who reached a career-high ATP ranking of No 76 in July this year, won nine of his 23 matches at ATP Tour level this year.

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