Novak Djokovic reveals what he told injured Carlos Alcaraz after French Open match with stunning message

Jun 10, 2023 11:49 AM IST

After the French Open match, Djokovic had words of comfort and motivation for Alcaraz in his post-match comments.

The much-awaited clash between Novak Djokovic and young rising star and world number one Carlos Alcaraz promised to be an extremely memorable contest through the first two sets, but unfortunately it wasn’t to be, as the young Spaniard was affected by full-body cramps and unable to compete to his fullest potential. After splitting the first two sets in a dramatic fashion, Djokovic was able to comfortably seal the third and fourth sets as Alcaraz’s movement was limited and he was unable to match the Serb’s level.

Serbia's Novak Djokovic (R) comforts Spain's Carlos Alcaraz Garfia after his victory during their men's singles semi-final match on day thirteen of the Roland-Garros Open tennis tournament(AFP)
Serbia's Novak Djokovic (R) comforts Spain's Carlos Alcaraz Garfia after his victory during their men's singles semi-final match on day thirteen of the Roland-Garros Open tennis tournament(AFP)

It was a disappointing ending to a match which was seen as a cross-generational battle, and the US Open champion will no doubt be greatly disappointed by his body giving up on him in the French Open semifinal. However, Djokovic, 16 years Alcaraz’s senior, had words of comfort and motivation in his post-match comments.

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Speaking after sealing the victory on Court Phillipe Chatrier, Djokovic said “Tough luck for Carlos. Obviously at this level, the last thing you want is cramps and physical problems at the late stages of a Grand Slam so I feel for him, I feel sorry. I hope he can recover and he can come back very soon.”

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The world number three also shared what he told his young colleague at the net after the contest. “I told him at the net, you know, he knows how young he is. He’s got plenty of time ahead of him so he’s going to win this tournament I’m sure many, many times. He’s an unbelievable player, incredible competitor, very nice guy. So he deserves all the applause and all the support.” In the spirit of sportsmanship Djokovic was seen checking on Alcaraz across the net when the cramps first begin to set in for the 20-year-old.

Alcaraz won the US Open in 2022 as a teenager, and was eyeing a second consecutive grand slam final appearance. Djokovic, who now boasts of a remarkable 34 grand slam final appearances in 70 attempts, was quick to commend Alcaraz’s spirit and mentality. “It’s tough obviously for him to not know whether he should retire the match or finish the match the way he did but congratulations to him for fighting spirit and hanging in all the way to the last point, respect for that, great respect.”

Alcaraz was only able to win one game after the cramps set in, as Djokovic cantered to a seventh French Open final. He will look to win his third Roland Garros crown, which would mean he becomes the first male player in the open era to have won each slam at least thrice. He will face off against the world number three Casper Ruud of Norway, who is in his third grand slam final appearance. Ruud lost to Rafael Nadal in the 2022 final, and will be looking to better the result from the last tournament.

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