Australia Open: It’s an extra motivation for me: Carlos Alcaraz eyes to dethrone Djokovic
MELBOURNE — Carlos Alcaraz has said he fancies a crack at dethroning Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open 2024, starting on Sunday.
Novak Djokovic, the maestro of Melbourne with a staggering 10 titles to his name, embarked on his quest for a 25th Grand Slam title against the resilient qualifier Dino Prizmic. As the iconic Rod Laver Arena witnessed the opening day’s battles, Alcaraz, the second seed, braced himself for a face-off against French veteran Richard Gasquet in the first round.
The narrative between Alcaraz and Djokovic had unfolded in compelling chapters the previous year. The Serbian claimed victory in their Roland Garros semi-final clash, exploiting a bout of crippling cramps that struck Alcaraz early in the third set. However, the Spaniard sought redemption at Wimbledon, securing his second Grand Slam in a mesmerizing five-set epic.
Yet, Djokovic proved his mettle in subsequent encounters, triumphing in a marathon Cincinnati Masters final and then sealing the deal at the ATP Tour Finals in Turin. Now, as they found themselves on opposite sides of the Australian Open draw, Alcaraz openly expressed his eagerness to break Djokovic’s recent streak and conquer the domain where the Serbian has reigned supreme for nearly 15 years.
An extra layer of motivation fueled Alcaraz’s ambitions, as he acknowledged the challenge of facing Djokovic in a tournament where the latter appeared nearly unbeatable. “It’s an extra motivation for me. I’m an ambitious guy. I always want to play against the best players in the world to see what is my level,” Alcaraz asserted on the eve of the tournament.
“Obviously it’s a good test, playing against him in the tournament where he’s almost unbeaten. I’m looking to reach the final and hopefully playing a final against him. It would be great obviously.
“But, yeah, knowing those stats, it’s an extra motivation, for sure.”
Reflecting on their previous encounters and Djokovic’s dominance, Alcaraz emphasized his determination to reach the final and, ideally, face Djokovic once again. The young Spaniard recognized the monumental test ahead but embraced the opportunity to measure his skills against one of the sport’s greatest.
Djokovic, fresh from his appearance at the United Cup where he grappled with a wrist issue, stood resolute in his title defense. Alcaraz, on the other hand, chose a different path, opting out of warm-up events before the Grand Slam. Despite his limited recent competitive action, Alcaraz exuded confidence, stating, “I think I’m prepared to do good things here in the Grand Slam.”