Will Alcaraz be huge threat to Djokovic in 23-24

Alcaraz's relative serve and return weaknesses right now seem like they would be a liability for him when facing Djokovic. Tactical shrewdness is also on Novak's side. But Carlos, purely athletically is now ahead of Novak, which is why he has a slight advantage on the baseline, but he also the all-court variety to force Novak out of his comfort zone. Very importantly, Carlos doesn't have issues on the mental front. That just feels like enough to at least balance out the skill disadvantages Alcaraz has on serve and return. So if Alcaraz doesn't suffer some out-of-the-blue lapse and keeps steadily improving as he has been, he should be, in theory, a huge threat to Djokovic in the next season everywhere but grass
 

thrust

Legend
Djokovic is simply not at his level from the baseline anymore, and is declining very quickly. He is not that good of a player. Going down 2-0 to Sinner was no fluke.
As bad as you think Novak is, he still won the Paris masters a the end of last year and won Wimbledon and Rome this year. What has Sinner, an outstanding player, won?
 

Zara

G.O.A.T.
At this Open, Alcaraz hasn’t beaten anyone worthy. All the top contenders were ousted by other players. Even in the final, he’s facing a novice who’s made a slam final for the first time. And yet, so much fuss about him already.
 

alexio

G.O.A.T.
At this Open, Alcaraz hasn’t beaten anyone worthy. All the top contenders were ousted by other players. Even in the final, he’s facing a novice who’s made a slam final for the first time. And yet, so much fuss about him already.
second time, zara..ruud playing his second final
 

Chanwan

G.O.A.T.
I still definitely lean towards Djokovic.

People act like Alcaraz is miles better than he was earlier in the year but I don’t think he is - he would have beaten Tiafoe, Sinner etc with his Miami/IW/Madrid form. Thing is, at IW he lost to Nadal and the one set he took was in hurricane conditions. In Madrid, he nearly lost to Rustovic. Underestimate the Big 3 at your peril.

If Djokovic goes Wall Mode from the back like he did against Kyrgios at Wimbledon (demonstrating that he very much still has the ability to), it will be interesting to see how Alcaraz copes. He’s got the strokes to hit through Djokovic but he also has portions of matches where he’ll blast a bit and will go long. Plus he has never really faced anyone with Djokovic’s calibre of return on a faster court.

Now Djokovic hasn’t played a single big bo5 match since the AO 21 without going missing for at least 1 set, so the question is, how much does Alcaraz benefit from that. I give him 1-2 sets. But I have Djokovic winning 3.
I think he was better in the spring. I'm just happy he put enough form together to get to the final. But I think he'll be better in 2023 than he's been in 2022. Djokovic hasn't faced a young player, who can consistently hang with him from the baseline (Medvedev, Sinner at W. Tsits and Thiem have all done it a bit though).

Imo, Djokovic is at a disadvantage vs. Alcaraz in a neutral rally. He can go wall mode all he likes (which isn't getting easier with him turning 36), but imo Alcaraz can handle wall mode and can - just like Wawa - hit through his wall mode.

What he does have in his favor and what imo will make this rivalry incredibly interesting to follow the next few years is: The serve+return combo plus experience/knowing how to win.
 

Chanwan

G.O.A.T.
At this Open, Alcaraz hasn’t beaten anyone worthy. All the top contenders were ousted by other players. Even in the final, he’s facing a novice who’s made a slam final for the first time. And yet, so much fuss about him already.
Have a look at the FO 2022 final
 

Chanwan

G.O.A.T.
Yes, that skipped me but the point stands, Ruud is not someone to brag about should Alcaraz wins the title today.
Ruud's had a terrific tournament, best I've ever seen him play. And winning a slam at 19 is bragable, especially after 3 5-setters headed into the final. I for one haven't done anything in my profession closely resembling winning a slam nor making a slam final, so I think they've both earned the right to brag a bit
 

MeatTornado

Talk Tennis Guru
One step at a time. He needed 5 sets just to get past Cilic, Sinner and Tiafoe. Let's see if he can even beat Ruud before we start debating his chances against Djokovic in Bo5.
 

Zara

G.O.A.T.
Ruud's had a terrific tournament, best I've ever seen him play. And winning a slam at 19 is bragable, especially after 3 5-setters headed into the final. I for one haven't done anything in my profession closely resembling winning a slam nor making a slam final, so I think they've both earned the right to brag a bit

But that’s apples and oranges comparing two entirely different professions. I think it’s admirable that Alcaraz made the final where he had to fight tooth and nails in order to make the final, and he can go ahead and brag, but if we strictly look at this sport and its field, then he got awfully lucky as both Novak and Zed weren’t able to compete for different reasons and Med & Nad lost to other players.
 

Chanwan

G.O.A.T.
But that’s apples and oranges comparing two entirely different professions. I think it’s admirable that Alcaraz made the final where he had to fight tooth and nails in order to make the final, and he can go ahead and brag, but if we strictly look at this sport and its field, then he got awfully lucky as both Novak and Zed weren’t able to compete for different reasons and Med & Nad lost to other players.
Fair enough, apples and oranges. But he's beaten a former champ here, who was dangerous, he's beaten a guy who just beat him twice and had an MP against him, he's beaten the guy who took Rafa out. What more do you want? Djoko, Federer, Rafa have all had their fair share of easy draws. I wouldn't call Alcaraz' draw easy. Zverev got injured, that's unlucky. Djoko chose not to do what was needed to play, that's stubborn and, imo, stupid. Not Alcaraz' fault.

Mind you, he's made it harder by not finishing Tiafoe in 4
 

BeatlesFan

Bionic Poster
First let's wait to see if he wins the USO final. If he does, that's a huge step in the right direction and he could have the necessary confidence to challenge Novak next year.

And what a joke that really is, considering a great 19 year old should be annihilating a 35 year old on any surface every time they play.
 

Chanwan

G.O.A.T.
First let's wait to see if he wins the USO final. If he does, that's a huge step in the right direction and he could have the necessary confidence to challenge Novak next year.

And what a joke that really is, considering a great 19 year old should be annihilating a 35 year old on any surface every time they play.
Because of what? Across sports, people are doing better and better in their 30's. Federer was doing pretty damn great as late as 2019, just shy of his 38th birthday.
Djokovic' has taken incredibly good care of his body and hasn't slowed much down. Hopefully, Alcaraz' will be the (very) young rival he never had.
 

Texas Tennis Fan

Professional
Djokovic is simply not at his level from the baseline anymore, and is declining very quickly. He is not that good of a player. Going down 2-0 to Sinner was no fluke.
How can you say this with a straight face. Nadal looked a lot worse in 2021 than Djokovic has this year and look at what Nadal accomplished in 2022 (albeit with help).

Djokovic has hardly had a normal year and yet won 1/2 of the slams he was in, and if he had been able to take Nadal to a 5th set at RG, he might have won that also. Djokovic is physically fit enough to play at a GS-winning level for the next 5 years and he is certainly motivated. The mistake people make with him is that he has changed his tactical game so he is not bashing everything like he did from 2011 to 2015. But here is the key: HE DOESN'T HAVE TO. He wins with his brains as much as with his physical attributes. And his speed, stretching ability, and returns have changed very little. I think the biggest change is that he doesn't bounce back as much from hard matches and so he tries to conserve energy for the overall tournaments. This also hurts him a lot more in best of 3 where you play several days in a row.

You are delusional and hopeful that Djokovic is done, but he will show you otherwise in 2023.
 

Hoi Polloi

Professional
Lol, OP is a troll is your valuable input @Hoi Polloi and @DSH - sad pointers for a rather neutral post.

I was expecting some insights on how Alcaraz will be able to beat Djokovic in HC or Grass. None so far, which indicates that Alcaraz has any edge.

The Joker has 23 slams, Alcatraz zero.
What is else is this BS about him overtaking Djokovic than trolling?
 

mahatma

Hall of Fame
The Joker has 23 slams, Alcatraz zero.
What is else is this BS about him overtaking Djokovic than trolling?

Clearly you didn't get it right. Djokovic is a declining champion at 36. Alcaraz is the new force. Sooner or later what happened to Federer or Agassi or Sampras will happen to Djokovic. But I feel not in 2023.
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
How is Alcaraz's highest level anywhere near Federer, Nadal and Djokovic's peak? Either you have short memory or you weren't following tennis in 2004-2007 and 2011-2015.
If Alcaraz's top level equals saving match points against Sinner and being a break down in a 5th set against Cilic, he would have lost 6-2 6-3 6-2 against the Big-3 in their prime years.


Nope. I think his play level is at least at the same level as the big 3. He is still developing, but I think he has that level game. Again, he beat Nole in a very good clay match, has no fear of any of them, and the tenacity to play them out as long as needed.


The assumption that Djo is anywhere near his peak, or near Alcz peak is silly to me. Your mileage can vary all it wants.
 
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