'Touches of Nadal and Djokovic' in world number one Alcaraz

By Sports Desk July 25, 2023

Iva Majoli sees shades of both Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic within Carlos Alcaraz.

Spaniard Alcaraz cemented his place as world number one by beating Djokovic in five sets to clinch the Wimbledon title earlier in July.

That marked Alcaraz's second major title following his US Open triumph last year, his sixth crown of 2023 and his 12th tournament win overall.

Alcaraz is often compared to his compatriot Nadal, but Majoli – who won the French Open in 1997 – believes there is an element of Djokovic to the 20-year-old's game too.

Asked which of the 'big three' of Nadal, Djokovic and the retired Roger Federer that Alcaraz can be most compared with, Majoli told Stats Perform: "Rafa was his idol growing up and he's a Spaniard, so I would probably put him as closest to Rafa, but I think he also has some touches from Novak.

"Maybe the least from Federer, but I would say between Rafa and Novak there are many amazing things."

Alcaraz is the figurehead of a new generation of talents.

Majoli added: "Holger Rune is another youngster also in the top five or top six in the world. So I think this could be an amazing battle in the next couple of years.

"But of course, there is also Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev and Casper Ruud, there are so many players, who are still very young. It's an amazing generation that's going to be led by Carlos Alcaraz."

Djokovic's defeat to Alcaraz at Wimbledon ended the 36-year-old's hopes of sealing the Grand Slam this year, but Majoli still sees him as the greatest.

"He is the GOAT. He is unbelievable. And what he has achieved, I don't know if anyone can ever achieve on all the surfaces of all the tournaments," she added.

"He broke most of the records and he's just from another planet, I say. I still feel that he has a few more grand slams in him.

"[The Wimbledon final] was just an amazing final, very close. It could have gone both ways. I think at the end, Carlos showed the guts and went for the shots.

"I'm sure he was nervous, but he wasn't showing it to us. But the US Open is coming up soon and I think Novak will be another hard one to beat there."

Nadal, meanwhile, is likely to retire next year.

"Where do I start? Winning 14 Roland Garros, I don't think anyone will ever break that record," Majoli said of Nadal's impact on tennis.

"That's probably going to stay in the history of tennis and just what a humble and amazing person he is, and how much he contributes to the world of tennis. It will be his legacy."

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