Novak Djokovic proved wrong to everyone who expected a trivial handover and fought like a true champion until Carlos Alcaraz collapsed due to cramps, in the much awaited semifinal of the Roland Garros 2023. The Spaniard admitted he has never felt such tension before a match and that facing Djokovic involves a higher level of nervousness than most of his other rivals.
Statements that do nothing but confirm the status of a tennis player willing to sacrifice himself despite his age and successes. "I told Carlos that he still has plenty of time and that he will definitely win the Roland Garros more times in the future.
I have no doubts. He is an extraordinary player: he has so many qualities. He has already won a Grand Slam, he is the youngest number one in history. Obviously he is not the best way to end a game, but I respect him a lot for having lasted until the last point.
It was obvious he was physically struggling. It's unfortunate for him and for the crowd, but that's sport. It can happen when he plays at a high intensity. The first two sets were physically demanding for both of them. I wish him a speedy recovery.
I'm sure he will come back stronger."
Roland Garros: Novak Djokovic beats Carlos Alcaraz to get the final!
Djokovic spoke of great admiration for Alcaraz at the beginning of the press conference: "These are things that I experienced several times in the beginning of my career.
I can understand Carlos, the emotions and circumstances that affect you mentally and emotionally. Everyone expected him to win the tournament, that may have influenced him. But that's part of the learning path. He is only 20 and has already shown that he has great maturity in the last two seasons.
I have enormous respect for what he is doing. He has an important team behind him. He will be very successful in his career. The start of the third set was crucial for me: I had to hold on. Then something unexpected happened. I don't think anyone expected such a thing.
Since then, of course, the game has changed. I tried to always be there, to make him play more strokes. He couldn't move. It wasn't good for the audience, because they witnessed something completely different from the first two sets."
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