Carlos Alcarazdespite the fact that he is debating the number one in the world Novak Djokovicit is considered natural that the Serb continues to consider Rafael Nadal, also a Spaniard, as his biggest rival in the modality.
“It’s normal for him to say that. In the end they’ve played 59 or 60 times; they’ve played Grand Slam semifinals and finals, and Masters 1,000 finals.… Practically all the finals,” the 19-year-old tennis player from Murcia said at a press conference in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday when asked about statements in which Djokovic said he considered his rival is Nadal and not Alcaraz.
The reigning United States Open champion and winner of the Argentine Open title on Sunday after a four-month layoff due to injury, proved that Djokovic cannot consider him his rival as the two have only met once.
Despite the Serbian’s claims, Alcaraz was world number one until a few weeks ago and has been displaced from Djokovic’s reign due to an injury that kept him out of tournaments at the start of the year.
The Spaniard is currently world number two but, if he wins the title at this week’s Rio de Janeiro Open, the only ATP 500 tournament in South America and where he will defend the title, he will draw level on points with Djokovic and asked the Serbian leadership again.
“The fact that the number one is fighting him does not mean that he is his biggest rival or his rival. In the end they (Djokovic and Nadal) shared the circuit for 20 years and they played great games. It’s normal for him to say that,” said Alcaraz, who advanced to the quarterfinals in Rio this Thursday after eliminating Italian Fabio Fognini.
Alcaraz said Djokovic, Nadal and the Swiss Roger Federer have dominated the tennis circuit for the past 20 years and are perhaps the best tennis players in the world in history because they never let their guard down.
“I think it’s a mental issue. It’s because they don’t let their guard down any time, tournament after tournament after tournament.… I think that’s the key to the success that these great tennis players and athletes have had,” he said. “And being close to Djokovic in this case at number one in the world is a privilege,” he added. . .
Regarding his match on Thursday with Fognini, number 86 in the ATP ranking and in which he had to lose a match that he started losing, he said that it was a battle of ups and downs in which he could not take advantage of his serve , which is one of his main advantages.
“That’s true It’s a game with ups and downs. I started very well, I had the chance to break his serve twice and go 4-0 twice, and in this type of match, against this type of player, if you don’t take the chances, you have to it’s yours in the end,” he said.
Alcaraz said he had to acknowledge that Fognini, whom he eliminated in the semifinals at the Brazilian tournament last year, also played at a very high level. “But I know that the match is very long and I will have many chances and Eventually I got better physically“He was confident when he referred to the forces he saved to win the last two sets.
Alcaraz advanced to the next round in Rio after defeating Fognini 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-4, a 35-year-old Italian who stunned him in the first round with a sprained ankle.
Espanyol’s opponent in the quarterfinals is dusan lajovic (80 ATP) defeated fellow Serbian Laslo Djere (57 ATP), champion in Rio de Janeiro in 2018, 6-2, 6-4 in the round of 16. Lajovic eliminated Argentine Diego Schwartzman, fifth favorite and champion in Brazil in 2018, in the first round.
Source: La Verdad
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