Confident Alcaraz wants Djokovic final at Australian Open

MELBOURNE: Carlos Alcaraz would like nothing better than to take the title away from Novak Djokovic in the final of the Australian Open in two week's time, the Spaniard said on the eve of the start of the year's first Grand Slam.

The 20-year-old said Djokovic's record of 10 wins from 10 Melbourne Park finals made the prospect of landing his first Australian Open title by beating the Serb on Rod Laver Arena all the more appealing.

"It's an extra motivation for me. I'm an ambitious guy. I always want to play against the best players in the world to see what is my level," Alcaraz told reporters on Saturday.

"Obviously it's a good test, playing against him in the tournament where he's almost unbeaten. I'm looking to reach the final and hopefully playing a final against him. It would be great obviously.

"But, yeah, knowing those stats, it's an extra motivation, for sure."

As first and second seed, Djokovic and Alcaraz would meet in the final on Jan. 28 if neither was knocked out in an earlier round.

As tempting as that prospect would be for tennis fans, it would require a marked improvement for Alcaraz, who has never made it past the third round in his two visits to Melbourne.

He missed last year's tournament with a hamstring injury as Djokovic won his 10th title to take back the number one ranking from his younger rival.

Alcaraz has travelled to Australia without coach Juan Carlos Ferrero and decided not to play any warm-up events.

"I think I'm a guy who doesn't need so much competition before a big tournament," he added.

"Obviously (it) always helps (but) I think I'm prepared to do a good things here in the Grand Slam."

Confidence oozed from Alcaraz during his news conference as he discussed how he and the likes of Holger Rune and Jannik Sinner were forming the basis of a "new generation."

Crucially, Alcaraz is the only one of the trio who has won a Grand Slam after his 2022 US Open triumph and his victory over Djokovic in last year's Wimbledon final.

While accepting that there was still plenty to work on, Alcaraz said he had a good feeling about what the new season would bring.

"On the court, off the court. I think everybody can be better. Everybody can improve their things. I'm not perfect, so I have to improve a lot of things on the court and off the court, as well," he said.

"I think this year, it's going to be a good one," he added with a smile. --REUTERS

Most Popular
Related Article
Says Stories