Mens Tennis

Alcaraz vs Djokovic: The Rivalry

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and World No. 2 Carlos Alcaraz will meet on Saturday in a tantalising semi-final showdown at the Nitto ATP Finals. Since their first clash at the 2022 Mutua Madrid Open, the stars have shown their games and fighting spirits make for memorable matchups.

Before their Turin battle, looks back at all four of their previous Lexus ATP Head2Head meetings.

Madrid 2022, SF, Alcaraz d. Djokovic 6-7(5), 7-5, 7-6(5)
The 2022 Mutua Madrid Open was where Alcaraz showed he was more than just a talented player on the rise. After a memorable win against countryman Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals, his tournament did not get any easier against top seed Djokovic.

In the pair’s first Lexus ATP Head2Head encounter, Djokovic received a full taste of what Alcaraz is capable of. The home favourite brought a selection of power and finesse to the Caja Magica.

Alcaraz hit 51 winners compared to 24 for Djokovic, and sent the Serbian scrambling with plenty of drop shots. When it came time to seal the match, the teen did it in style with a booming forehand winner to upset the World No. 1 after three hours and 36 minutes and become the first player to beat Nadal and Djokovic at the same clay-court tournament.

“I know that I played a really good game,” Alcaraz said. “For the rest of the season I think I am able to play against the best players in the world and beat them as well, so it gives me a lot of confidence.”

Carlos Alcaraz
Photo: Corinne Dubreuil/ATP Tour
Roland Garros 2023, SF, Djokovic d. Alcaraz 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1
When the 2023 Roland Garros draw came out, all eyes were on the potential of a semi-final blockbuster between Djokovic and Alcaraz. After their scintillating clash in Madrid, would Alcaraz be able to replicate his level against the World No. 1 across five sets?

Djokovic seemed in command early, but Alcaraz worked hard to win the second set and when he did, a classic seemed in the works. But instead, the Spaniard began suffering from cramp early in the third set and was never able to physically recover.

Djokovic was left to polish off an ailing Alcaraz and he did so without issue, ending their first meeting at a major without tension.

“I told him at the net. He knows how young he is. He’s got plenty of time ahead of him, so he’s going to win this tournament I’m sure many many times,” Djokovic said. “He’s an unbelievable player, an incredible competitor and a very nice guy, so he deserves all the applause and all the support.”

Alcaraz was…

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