Djokovic says ‘special’ Alcaraz is one of Roland-Garros favorites | Tennis News


World number one Novak Djokovic has praised new Madrid Open champion Carlos Alcaraz, saying the Spanish teenager is one of the favorites heading into the French Open later this month.
Alcaraz announced himself to Madrid when he played with a sore ankle but still sent three of the top five players – Rafa Nadal, Djokovic and Alexander Zverev – en route to their second Masters title, just days later his 19th birthday.
Djokovic described Alcaraz as a ‘complete player’ and the ‘talking of the sport’ after the Spaniard claimed a tour-leading fourth title of the year.
“He is definitely special. He is already breaking a lot of records as a teenager, winning two Masters tournaments this year, some 500 (ATP). So far he is the best player in the world, without a doubt, this year” , Djokovic told reporters in Rome.
“The way he handled the pressure. I mean, in our game a few days ago, how calm he was throughout…was impressive. He deserved to win the trophy.
“(A) Roland Garros, he’s definitely one of the main favourites, without a doubt, even though he’s never reached the second week of a Grand Slam. With everything he’s achieved recently, he deserves to be one of the favourites.”
Alcaraz beating compatriot Nadal for the first time in his career in the quarter-finals in Madrid was like the passing of the torch and the 21-time Grand Slam champion said he was happy Spain had a bright future in tennis.
“Everyone knows the level of confidence he has right now, the level he can reach. (I’m) happy for him, happy because we have an incredible player in our country for many years to come. “, Nadal said.
“It’s always special to win at home. (It must have) probably been a very special week for him.”
Alcaraz said he was skipping the Rome Masters to treat his ankle injury to ensure he was fully fit for the French Open which begins on May 22.

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