‘It is a long way for Carlos Alcaraz if he ever wants to catch Novak Djokovic’, says former world No 7

Ewan West
Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic
Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic's rivalry is the talk of tennis

Barbara Schett declared “we will probably never witness this again” after Novak Djokovic won his 24th Grand Slam title at the 2023 US Open.

The former world No 7 believes “it is a long way for Carlos Alcaraz” to reach Djokovic’s records and said she is “just not sure” if the Serb is human anymore.

Djokovic defeated Daniil Medvedev in straight sets in the final of the 2023 US Open on Sunday to claim his fourth title at the event and first since 2018. He was contesting a record-extending 36th major final and 10th championship match at Flushing Meadows.

The 36-year-old is now two Grand Slam titles clear of great rival Rafael Nadal, who is second on the all-time men’s major list. He has also equalled Margaret Court’s overall record tally of Grand Slam victories.

Djokovic overtook two-time major winner Alcaraz to regain the world No 1 ATP singles ranking this week. The pair have faced off four times, with the head-to-head split at 2-2.

Speaking to Eurosport, Schett suggested she finds it difficult to see anyone matching Djokovic’s Grand Slam record.

“We will probably never witness this again. I mean, it is a long way for Carlos Alcaraz if he ever wants to get there! How many more weeks can he be the No 1 player in the world? I mean, we have to ask this question because I am just not sure if he is human anymore,” admitted the Austrian.

Former world No 2 Alex Corretja also gave his thoughts on the Serbian’s achievement and expressed his appreciation for his ability to suffer in matches.

“He has the feeling inside himself that he can keep on going. This year he has shown that he has been the best. I was very surprised when he won Roland Garros, just the way he played,” said the two-time Grand Slam runner-up.

“Again today, he was suffering so much and fighting, but he was so precise in the important moments. He showed why he has 24 Grand Slams, and this is something that is unreal.

“It is very hard to explain because what he has achieved, we would have never even thought about it. I think this is unbelievable, and I am really emotional for him. He has shown as a human being many times that he can go very deep, and I appreciate that.”

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