June 2, 2023
Novak Djokovic faced more testing times at Roland Garros than Carlos Alcaraz, but both eventually progressed in style.
That easy ride for Alcaraz may change when the golden boy from Spain faces the in-form Lorenzo Musetti next time out, though.
Italian Musetti defeated the last British hope, Cameron Norrie with a dominant 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 display on Friday.
Later, Alcaraz saw off Denis Shapovalov 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 after suffering a second-set blip.
The top seed knows that even if he beats Musetti, Novak Djokovic will still probably be waiting at the semi-final stage.
Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz are two of the players the fans will most want to see at Wimbledon 2023 as well.
Back in Paris, Carlos reflected on his latest victory first and said: ‘I think I played a good level the whole match. The second set I was in trouble a little bit, 4-1 down. I started to make more mistakes.
‘But I relaxed and told myself to be strong mentally, because I knew I was going to come back – and I did. I hope to take this form into the next round.’
It was interesting to hear Alcaraz then assess what he has achieved already – and the ambitions that still burn deep inside.
He explained: ‘I lived my dream already so quick, I didn’t expect that. But my dream now in tennis is to win every tournament I play, fighting for every Grand Slam. Try to compete against Djokovic, for example!’
He will have to beat Musetti before he can even start to think of the much-anticipated showdown with Novak Djokovic.
Alcaraz knows the size of the task ahead. ‘I know my next opponent very well. We played a lot of tournaments when we were kids. We played last year and he beat me and I want to take revenge now.
‘It’ll be a really fun match. I want to enjoy it and I hope the crowd enjoy it as well.’
Novak Djokovic edged through 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.
But he was booed by the Roland Garros crowd after he seemed to over-celebrate his second-set tie-break win.
And they jeered louder still when he promptly took a medical time-out.
Djokovic merely encouraged his detractors and did his best to pretend he didn’t care.
But by the end of the match he appeared to have won those same passionate French spectators round, because they gave him a warm send-off.
Later Novak complained: ‘I find their reaction disrespectful and I don’t understand it. But it’s their right, they bought their ticket and they can do what they want.’
Novak Djokovic against Carlos Alcaraz is the one we are all waiting for.
Let’s hope the tennis world gets what it wants!
Novak Djokovic against Carlos Alcaraz would provide an amazing spectacle on Centre Court at Wimbledon 2023 too.
Will you be there to see who rules on grass? Royalty and Hollywood celebrities are already making their arrangements to be at Wimbledon 2023 in July.
Will you be joining them?