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‘The best in history’ – Coach Ferrero on why Alcaraz must face Djokovic

The world No 1’s coach wants him to get more practice playing the very best

Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic Carlos Alcaraz of Spain and Novak Djokovic of Croatia during the Mutua Madrid Open 2022 tennis tournament on May 7, 2022 at Caja Magica stadium in Madrid, Spain (Laurent Lairys/Panoramic)

Carlos Alcaraz‘s coach Juan Carlos Ferrero says the young world No 1 needs to have Novak Djokovic on the tour with him so that he can learn and develop even further.

“We need him,” said Ferrero of the former world No 1, speaking to Eurosport.

“I think for Carlos to improve his tennis he needs to play against one of the best in the history. Of course Rafa [Nadal] is there to play against him – and Novak, we need him.

“In Madrid Carlos played against Novak and he increased his level to try to win the match, so that’s what we need, to play in the Slams against him, I think it’s very important for Carlos to improve.”

Ferrero: We’ll be happy to see Djokovic in Melbourne

And that includes the Australian Open – where, after some doubt and confusion, it seems as if Djokovic will play in January.

“I think after the US Open, which he couldn’t play [due to his lack of vaccination], he was very focused to show himself that he is able to win almost everything that he played, we saw again that he’s able to do it,” said Ferrero.

“He presented himself to all the players that he’s going to be there and that he has the possibility to play in Australia, I think he’s very happy about it and I think the rest of the players as well.

“Carlos and I were talking about that we’re happy to see Novak there because if you want to win the Australian Open you have to win against the best, and of course it’s good news. But of course it didn’t surprise me at all that he won in Turin [at the ATP year-end finals].”

The two have played only once on the tour so far, in the match Ferrero mentioned – the Madrid semi-final this year, where Alcaraz came back from a set down to win 6-7 (5), 7-5, 7-6 (5).

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