Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic, a mutual respect and top pre-Wimbledon rivalry

Tuesday, 25 June 2024 at 15:19
Alcaraz Wimbledon 2
Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic faced each other in an epic match in last year's Wimbledon final. After a devastating start by the Serbian, the Spaniard managed to recover, win the very tight second set and end up taking the match by 1-6, 7-6, 6-1, 3-6 and 6-4. At that time, it meant the second Grand Slam for the Spaniard after the one he won at the US Open 2022. Both met today at the All England Club and talked for a few minutes.
Alcaraz arrives after winning Roland Garros, his third major, after reaching the semifinals losing only one set and leaving J.J. Wolf, Jesper de Jong, Sebastian Korda, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Stefanos Tsitsipas on the way. The last two matches were very similar, where he was losing 2 sets to 1 and ended up coming back to win in 5, both against Jannik Sinner and Alexander Zverev in the title match.
For his part, Djokovic passed the first two rounds without trouble, until Lorenzo Musetti made it terribly difficult for him in the third round, where he had to sweat to come back from 1-2 and take it in the fifth set. Something similar happened in the round of 16 against Francisco Cerúndolo, with the difference that in that match he injured his meniscus, which led him to withdraw from the tournament without playing in the quarterfinals against Casper Ruud and having to undergo knee surgery three and a half weeks before Wimbledon.
At the time, everything seemed to indicate that the world number 3 would skip the grass season, staying on clay to prepare for the Olympic Games, the only success the Serb lacks in his unmatched track record. Besides, grass is the most demanding surface for the body, so this theory seemed to make sense. But the competitive beast is in London to test himself, and tomorrow he will train with Argentine Federico Coria to assess how he is doing.
Being present, they will be two of the three top favorites to lift the trophy next Sunday, July 14, along with Jannik Sinner. Alexander Zverev and Daniil Medvedev should not be ruled out, but the Serb, the Spaniard and the Italian have been showing for some time what they are capable of on a tennis court. The talk between Djokovic and Alcaraz also shows that, despite the fierce rivalry they share, they have a good relationship and there is mutual respect between the two.

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