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Carlos Alcaraz fires Wimbledon warning ahead of Queen’s final, opens up on battle for No.1 spot with Djokovic


Carlos Alcaraz is trying to establish himself as one of the most consistent performers on the ATP tour, by delivering on his immense talent that is clear to see, regularly and on all three surfaces. The 20-year-old Spaniard is preparing for Wimbledon with the Queen’s Club Championships in London, a warm-up event, but one which has immense significance for Alcaraz.

Carlos Alcaraz fired a warning to Novak Djokovic.(AFP)
Carlos Alcaraz fired a warning to Novak Djokovic.(AFP)

The US Open champion beat Sebastian Korda in the semifinals of the tournament, and is now one win away from taking back the world number one title from Novak Djokovic. Alcaraz held onto the number one ranking under immense pressure from Daniil Medvedev and Djokovic for 25 weeks, but lost out after Djokovic lifted the Roland Garros trophy.

Now, however, he has the chance to enter Wimbledon as the top seed, in what would be a massive statement to Djokovic, letting the Serb know that Alcaraz is in good form and feels more comfortable on grass than ever before, and that he intends to end his reign of dominance over Wimbledon.

“It’s extra motivation for me. Obviously, during the game I’m not thinking about it, but it’s extra motivation for me to reach the final,” said Alcaraz of the potential rise back to the top. Between him and his goal is Australia’s Alex de Minaur, who upset Holger Rune in the other semifinal. De Minaur is a very capable grass court player, but Alcaraz will fancy his chances.

“I think Novak and I are having a beautiful fight for number one,” continued Alcaraz. Djokovic holds the record for most weeks spent at number one, but Alcaraz holds the record for being the youngest year-end number one in ATP history, and has time on his side. The contest in the semifinal at Roland Garros between the two players was promising to be a classic, but Alcaraz’s body let him down just as it was getting towards its climax.

“The most I have learned this week is to move,” continued Alcaraz, who grew up playing on clay courts and has spoken about the difficulties of adapting to grass. “I think that right now I am moving well on grass since I started last week with doubts about movement, about hitting the ball. But right now I feel like I’ve been playing on grass for many years.” Alcaraz’s confidence and ability to back it up makes him a constant mental threat in matches, which is what makes his rivalry against Djokovic, one of the biggest mental giants in any sport’s history, so fascinating.

“I came here to learn, to feel great movement, to feel good hitting the ball. I think my expectation is very good about that, so it’s something I’m not thinking about right now,” concluded Alcaraz. His first goal will be to clinch the number one spot with a victory at Queen’s, and then reaching the quarterfinals of Wimbledon next week.

The young Spaniard lost out to Jannik Sinner in the fourth round last year, an intense and tactical battle between two supreme talents of the next generation. Both will be looking to knock Djokovic off his perch, as the Serb looks at a 5th consecutive Wimbledon title, and a record-tying 8th overall.

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