Carlos Alcaraz rejects Novak Djokovic claim as mind games ramp up ahead of French Open


Djokovic piled the pressure on Alcaraz ahead of the French Open as he claimed the 19-year-old was without question ‘the best player in the world this year’ after losing his first meeting with the Spaniard 6-7(5) 7-5 7-6(5) in the Madrid Open semi-final on Saturday, but Alcaraz has rejected the Serb’s claim.

“No, the truth is that I don’t think so,” the new world No 6 said of the 20-time Major champion’s bold statement, speaking to Marca. “For me the best in the world is the one who is No 1 and is the one who deserves it,” he added, throwing the baton back to Djokovic amid the pre-French Open mind games.

The five-time title winner said he would not be the best until he reached the No 1 spot himself, despite the praise from the Serb. He continued: “Now there is Djokovic, I am six, I have five left to be the best in the world.”

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“Winning here gives me a lot of confidence ahead of Roland Garros and it’s something I have as my goal,” the new world No 6 said after lifting his fourth title of the season. “My goal this year is to win a Grand Slam and hopefully it will be in Paris.”

He doubled down on his Grand Slam quest when touching on his goals for the rest of the season, adding: “Keep winning games like the ones I won in Madrid, keep winning titles. My goal until the end of the year is to try to win one of the three remaining Grand Slams. It is a great motivation for me and I will fight for it.”


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