Watch: Novak Djokovic applauds as Carlos Alcaraz hits 'shot of the tournament' in French Open semi-final thriller
French Open 2023: Carlos Alcaraz fell to a defeat vs Novak Djokovic in the men's singles semi-final but played a shot which left his opponent stunned.
Despite crashing to a 3-6 7-5 1-6 1-6 defeat vs Novak Djokovic in the French Open men's singles semi-final, Carlos Alcaraz played some brilliant tennis at the Philippe Chatrier Court in Roland Garros (Paris) on Friday. The Spaniard had a shaky start, losing the first set 3-6. But Alcaraz fought back in the second set to eke out a 7-5 win against Djokovic. In the third set, the world no. 1 started strong, but soon suffered cramps and also had to forfeit an entire game due to treatment. Soon, the 20-year-old lost 1-6, followed by another 1-6 defeat in the fourth set.
Alcaraz, the reigning US Open champion, showed some good combinations of shots that even left Djokovic stunned. The Serb had to work hard for every point, until the third set, when fitness decided the outcome of the match.
Alcaraz showcased his potential to its fullest aplomb in the second set, with the game level at 1-1. Serving in the third game, Alcaraz received a straightforward forehand return, to which he responded accurately. Djokovic returned, followed by a Alcaraz backhand, followed by the Serbian drawing the youngster closer to the net. On receiving from Alcaraz once again, Djokovic hit it high above the Spaniard's reach. But Alcaraz ran back, turned and hit an innovative shot to grab a breathtaking point.
Such was the beauty of the winner that even Djokovic raised his hands to applaud, followed by screams from the crowd. Reacting to the video, many fans hailed the shot on Twitter. One fan called it the 'shot of the tournament'. The fan wrote, "Carlos Alcaraz hits the shot of the tournament against Novak Djokovic. The ability to sprint like this, catch up with the very good shot Novak hit, & hit a winner passing shot from this position just defied basic physics."
Here is the video:
Djokovic will be eyeing history in the final on Sunday, to become the player with most Grand Slam titles (23). Djokovic currently has 22 titles, level with Rafael Nadal. A win in the final will also guarantee him top spot in the ATP rankings.