Carlos Alcaraz will face Novak Djokovic in the semifinals of the Madrid Masters.
Carlos Alcaraz booked his spot opposite Novak Djokovic in the semifinals of the Madrid Masters after ousting Rafael Nadal in the last eight on Friday. Alcaraz later asserted that he would leave no stone unturned in trying to beat the Serb.
Alcaraz became the first teenager to beat Nadal on clay as well as the youngest semifinalist in the history of the tournament with his 6-2, 1-6, 6-3 win.
Speaking to the media after his win, the 18-year-old explained that facing Djokovic would be different since his game is different from Nadal’s. However, he believes the mental side of things will remain the same since the Serb also ranks amongst the greats of the game.
“Well, I think that they have different games,” Alcaraz said. “Talking about emotions, I think it’s going to be the same. As I have said, Djokovic is one of the best players of history, and I’m going to try to step out there without thinking of that.”
The Spaniard stressed that he would put his heart and soul out on the court against the 20-time Major champion.
“I’m going to try to step out there to show my level, to play to win, which is my essence, which is what I do, to fight till the very last ball, which there onwards we will see what happens,” he said.
“Djokovic is one of the best players of history for me” – Carlos Alcaraz
Carlos Alcaraz waxed lyrical about Novak Djokovic’s greatness during his press conference.
“Well, of course Djokovic is one of the best players of history for me,” said the teenager. “For me, everything that he has achieved for tennis, it’s amazing. You just can admire him.”
When pointed out that he would be facing the Serb for the first time in his career, Alcaraz responded by mentioning how he has had the experience of playing big matches in packed stadiums.
“Well, I am there,” he said. “I have lived tough moments. The first time that I’m going to face him, but it’s not the first time I’m going to play in front of a lot of people in a great court, in a semifinals of a Masters 1000.”
As such, Alcaraz believes a similar mindset like the one he had against Nadal would work well for him against the top seed. The teenager admitted that nerves would likely play a part but explained that his recent practice sessions against the World No. 1 could come in handy on this occasion.
“So I’m going to step into the court the way I have stepped out today,” said Alcaraz. “Of course there are going to be nerves, but I’m going to try to manage them in the best possible way, and I’m going to try to give a good level. I know that I’m going to have opportunities, and of course the training that I have had with him this week, it helps me a little bit to know how to face him in tomorrow’s match.”