By Richard Pagliaro | @Tennis_NoSinw | Wednesday, January 24, 202
Carlos Alcaraz’s Australian Open run is over.
The world No. 2 believes 10-time AO champion Novak Djokovic’s reign could come to an end, too.
In the aftermath of his 6-1, 6-3, 6-7(2), 6-4 Australian Open quarterfinal loss to Alexander Zverev, Alcaraz was asked if any man can stop the 36-year-old Serbian superstar from capturing a record 25th Grand Slam crown this weekend.
Alcaraz, the only man to defeat Djokovic in a major match last year, said there is one man who can derail the defending champion: Jannik Sinner.
Pointing to the fact the fourth-seeded Sinner has swept all 15 sets he’s played in Melbourne Park, and has defeated Djokovic in two of their last three meetings (albeit both in two-out-of-three sets), Alcaraz said Sinner “has the level and capacity” to snap Djokovic’s AO dominance and shock the world in their semifinal meeting.
“Well, I think the players that are in the semifinals have the level to beat him. Let’s see,” Alcaraz told the media in Melbourne. “It’s not easy to beat Novak in a tournament, but I think it’s even tougher in a Grand Slam.
“But [Novak] has to face Jannik Sinner, that he’s playing an unbelievable game. He has not dropped a set in this tournament. That means that he has the level and the capacity to beat Novak.”
Two-time Grand Slam champion Alcaraz said all three semifinalists—two-time finalist Daniil Medvedev, Olympic gold-medal champion Zverev and Italian Davis Cup hero Sinner—are capable of dethroning the defending champion.
Ousted from Melbourne, Alcaraz said he goes from contender to fan, who will watch it all go down this weekend.
“So let’s see. I’m gonna watch the matches, of course,” Alcaraz said. “And yeah, I think the players that are in this stage has the level to beat him.”
Photo credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty