Carlos Alcaraz fires French Open warning to Novak Djokovic and explains what win means

Novak Djokovic reacts to his media coverage in February

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Carlos Alcaraz feels he’s ready to challenge at the French Open after beating Novak Djokovic on Saturday. The young Spaniard beat the Serb 6-7, 7-5, 7-5 to make the final of the Madrid Open. And he now feels he’s ready to rub shoulders with the very best in the game, particularly after besting Rafael Nadal earlier in the week as well.

Alcaraz was the underdog going into his contest with Djokovic, despite getting the better of Nadal earlier in the week.

And though he lost the first set, the 19-year-old bounced back to make the final where he’ll now face Alexander Zverev.

Alcaraz has now spoken to Eurosport and insists that, after beating Djokovic, he can make his mark at the upcoming French Open.

And he also expressed a belief that the win proves he’s doing all the right things as he looks to become one of the best players in the world.

“It feels great, it means a lot to me [to beat Djokovic],” he told Eurosport after putting Djokovic to the sword.

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“It means the hard work I do every day means a lot to me.

“I’m ready to play in Roland-Garros. I think I’m able to get great results in Grand Slams so I’m thinking for tomorrow for the final.

“But after this tournament I think Roland-Garros is a good challenge for me.

“It’s a bit different [playing five sets]. Playing best-of-five means more time on court, you have to be more focused during more time and playing these type of players is tougher, but we are ready.”

Djokovic had been hoping to reach his second final of the season in Madrid, where he’s triumphed three times in the past.

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But he was respectful in defeat, saying: “Congrats to him. He held his nerve very well.

“For somebody of his age to play so maturely and courageously is impressive. He deserved to win.

“I had a lot of chances, it was a fantastic match. Great battle.

“But I’m definitely disappointed with not being able to use my chances in the second set.

“I definitely played very good tennis, I mean, the best that I have played this year.

“Probably when the disappointment of losing this match passes, I will have a lot of positives to take away from this week.”

Next up for Alcaraz is Zverev.

But the German, despite being the favourite to win, insists he isn’t taking the match lightly.

“In general Carlos is one of the best players in the world right now,” he said.

“He won Miami, Barcelona and he’s winning almost every week so it is not going to be an easy match that’s for sure but I’m looking forward to the challenge.

“I would say so right now with how past results were he’s an up and coming player and I’ve struggled this year but that’s hopefully in the past now.”

On his own victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas, he added: “The results and what he [Tsitsipas] did in Monte-Carlo and how he has done this year you have to say that.

“At the end of the day he is one of the best in the world and I’m happy with how I played, I’m happy with my match.

“I think I served well today and in general I feel like I managed the match well.”

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