Novak Djokovic: Adam Hills shares opinion on tennis star
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Carlos Alcaraz has established himself as a ‘better version’ of 20-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic by winning this year’s Madrid Open, according to Martina Navratilova. Alcaraz earned a sensational triumph in the Spanish capital with a straight-sets win over Alexander Zverev in Sunday’s final to clinch his fifth singles title and achieve a career-high ranking of No 6 in the process.
Alcaraz came from a set down to beat Djokovic on his way to the final and will be looking to overcome more high-profile challenges at the French Open, with the second Grand Slam of the year set to get underway at the end of this month. Navratilova has since insisted that Alcaraz is already a better player than Djokovic, who struggled to cope with the threat of his younger opponent over the course of their recent meeting in Madrid.
“For me, he’s a better version of Djokovic,” she told Amazon Prime Video. “He moves like Novak but he hits a better ball out wide, more powerful than I’ve ever seen. He’s defying the laws of gravity out there.”
Alcaraz’s imperious form since the beginning of the year has caught the eyes of many players, fans and pundits as of late and for all the right reasons. Plenty have suggested that he could assume the role of tennis’ lead star over the coming years in place of Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, who appear to be nearing the end of their respective careers at the highest level.
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It remains to be seen whether Alcaraz will be able to take the next logical step by winning his first Grand Slam title when the French Open gets underway at Roland Garros in a few weeks’ time. Djokovic himself recently described Alcaraz as a ‘special’ player and insisted that he has been left thoroughly impressed by the 19-year-old’s meteoric rise to stardom over the last few months.
“Well, there are a lot of things that are special about him,” said Djokovic when quizzed on Alcaraz in Madrid.
“I mean, he has broken a lot of records as the youngest player, top 10, obviously in the recent decades, because we had some amazing champions like Michael Chang when he was 16, you know, won a Slam and so forth.
“But, you know, nowadays we are not used to seeing somebody who is teenager and already getting to top 10 and playing on such a high level. His growth, his improvement, and his journey particularly the last six months has been amazing.
“He is a very nice guy off the court. I had the opportunity to train with him and spend a little time off the court with him here in Madrid, and I must say that on all fronts, he is great on and off the court.”
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