“I have no fear, I want to play this match” – Alcaraz ready for redemption against Djokovic in Wimbledon final

Carlos Alcaraz is hungry to redeem himself against Novak Djokovic, after losing to the Serbian in the semi-finals of Roland-Garros 2023

Alcaraz 2023 Wimbledon | Chryslene Caillaud / Panoramic Alcaraz 2023 Wimbledon | Chryslene Caillaud / Panoramic

After a brutal display of grass court tennis, Carlos Alcaraz has declared that a rematch against Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon 2023 final is exactly what he wants.

For Alcaraz, it’s only been five weeks since he was taught a lesson by Djokovic in the Roland-Garros semi-finals, beaten 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 by the 23-time Grand Slam champion. But they say that time passes slower when you’re young, and already, the 20-year-old looks like a different player to the one who lost last month.

His comments following the dominant 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 semi-final win over Daniil Medvedev have confirmed that not only is Alcaraz playing better, he’s also in a better space mentally ahead of the Wimbledon 2023 final against Djokovic.

Extra motivation for Alcaraz heading into Wimbledon final

When reminded that his compatriot Rafael Nadal had his first Wimbledon against the great Roger Federer, Carlos Alcaraz has admitted that beating Novak Djokovic on the Serbian’s favourite surface is an added motivation.

“Well, [it] gives you extra motivation. I think it’s more special to play final against a legend from our sport. If I win, it could be amazing for me – not only win a Wimbledon title but do it against Novak would be super special.

“I always say if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best. Novak is one of them. Would be great if I’ll do it.”

Alcaraz is correct in one thing—Djokovic is the best right now, on grass. The former world No 1 has not lost a match at Wimbledon since 2017, and even that was a retirement. One has to go back even further to find the last time Djokovic lost on Centre Court at SW19—a decade ago, in the 2013 final to Andy Murray.

But that won’t phase Alcaraz, as the young Spaniard is hungry to prove his ability against the best in the sport.

“I’ve learned from what happened” – Alcaraz on his defeat at Roland-Garros

The elephant in the room when Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic step on court this Sunday will be the nerves that the 20-year-old displayed in their recent meeting.

Alcaraz was candid after that match, stating that his debilitating cramps occurred because he was nervous rather than physically unfit. However, the Spaniard does not believe we’ll see a repeat of that at Wimbledon.

“I try to get into the court with not as much nerves as I had in French Open. I try to pull out all nerves, try to enjoy that moment,” said Alcaraz.

“I prepare the match a little bit different from French Open. It’s going to be different for me. I hope not to get cramp during the final.”

Pressure on Djokovic heading into Wimbledon final, says Alcaraz

Alcaraz being cognizant of the role that nerves will play on Sunday, and willing to talk freely about the matter, can only bode well for his chances. In fact, he believes that some of the pressure will be back on Djokovic now:

“It will probably be a mental final. I’ll try to enjoy, yes it will be very mental. I’ve learned from what happened [in Paris], I feel more experienced,” said Alcaraz.

“He will have a little more pressure than in Paris [being the favourite]. I have no fear, I want to play this match, I think I can win, the past is behind me.”

Only time will tell whether the past is behind Alcaraz both mentally and on the scoreboard against Djokovic.

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