Carlos Alcaraz claims cheers from Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal supporters add ‘extra motivation’ when playing against Novak Djokovic

They might be separated by an age gap of 16 years, but when it comes to a sporting rivalry, there is not much to split between Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz. The duo has met three times this year, with Novak Djokovic leading with two wins.

Furthermore, with the Serbian breaking and extending records this year, Carlos Alcaraz became the youngest year-end world no. 1 last year, at just 19. He has won two Grand Slam titles and was the youngest player to feature at the Nitto ATP Finals this season, making it to the semifinals.

Carlos Alcaraz on Federer and Rafa fans cheering him against Djokovic

Two-time Major champion Carlos Alcaraz while in Mexico city for an exhibition game revealed that it is an extra motivation and a joy to have fans of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer cheering him on when he plays Novak Djokovic. Alcaraz who defeated Novak Djokovic once this season at the epic Wimbledon final in July has frequently been likened to tennis legends since his rise to the top of the sport.

The world No 2 also divulged he is aware of the extra support he receives from fans of Djokovic’s biggest rivals when he faces the Serbian: “I’m a guy who watches social media a lot and every time I face Djokovic, there are always fans cheering me on. It is an extra motivation and a joy to have those fans of Rafa or Federer perhaps, not all, but a large part, cheering me on when I play against him or against any player. It is wonderful.”

 Alcaraz addressed comparisons made between him and the legendary trio and discussed his rivalry with Djokovic. “I perceive that I am Carlos Alcaraz. We don’t set out to copy any style from any of the three,” the 20-year-old said, as reported by EFE.

“Obviously, for someone like Djokovic to say that I have the best of the three best players in the history of our sport, for me it is wonderful, but really, inside, I want to think that I am not any combination of any player. I want to feel that I am 100% Carlos Alcaraz. These three great players have had an influence on me and practically all tennis players. I grew up watching them play Grand Slam finals.”

Carlos Alcaraz vs Novak Djokovic head-to-head

Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic have met thrice this season with the latest matchup between 24-time major winner and Wimbledon champ taking place at the Nitto ATP Tour Finals in Turin. Djokovic swept aside Alcaraz in straight sets to reach the final.

Carlos Alcaraz
The Telegraph

Before then, the duo met at the 2023 Cincinnati Masters final, in which it seemed as if Carlos Alcaraz was going to win after the first set but Djokovic rallied around to beat him and looked poised to supplant him the world no.1 position.

At the Wimbledon Final, it was Carlos Alcaraz who got the better of the two, and after that game the suggestions that Djokovic’s time at the top was quickly coming ruled in the media but have been dispelled in recent months. After winning in Cincinnati, Djokovic defeated Daniil Medvedev to claim his 24th grand slam singles title at the US Open. Djokovic then followed that up by winning the Paris Masters and will end 2023 as the world No. 1, regardless of the result in the final of the ATP event in Turin.

Victor Okechukwu

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