The Nitto ATP Finals draw has been finalized, and the likes of Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic have flown to Turin to take part in the prestigious year-ending tournament. The Spaniard, in particular, will be looking to overturn a recent slump and get back to winning ways in the competitive event.
Alcaraz has a fierce rivalry with Djokovic and the two have played each other three times in 2023 alone, with Novak triumphing twice and Carlos winning the Wimbledon title in June. Both players put aside their differences and sparred together in Italy, with fans rushing to the stadium to catch a glimpse of the superstars.
Alcaraz and Djokovic link up at Nitto ATP Finals practice
Carlos Alcaraz squandered an excellent opportunity to reclaim his world No. 1 ranking from Novak Djokovic by slumping to successive defeats in major tournaments, the most recent being his second-round exit at the Paris Masters. Nevertheless, the 20-year-old is awaiting the Nitto ATP Finals and is expected to do well in the event.
Carlos and Novak took part in a practice session on the indoor hard courts in Turin ahead of the season-ending tournament, and the video has gone viral on social media. Both players can be seen walking side by side as they approach the net to begin their session.
The subsequent practice session would have had fans gasping in awe at watching the duo prepare for yet another episode in their oft-discussed rivalry. Novak has an edge in head-to-head records with Carlos Alcaraz at 3-2, the latest being his Cincinnati Open final win.
Despite being in different groups at the ATP Finals, Novak in the green group and Carlos in the red group, much is expected of the two, and odds will favor their progression to the semifinals and possibly face off in another intense and fierce showdown.
Despite his recent troubles, Alcaraz seems to have supporters on his side, as witnessed by a major tennis figure’s recent comments.
Federer’s ex-coach provides assessment of Alcaraz career
Roger Federer’s former coach, Paul Annacone, recently gave his opinion on the nascent rivalry between Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic.
Annacone alluded to a past comment by Alcaraz in which the Spaniard admitted to having Novak on “his mind at all times”.
“I think [about Djokovic] almost in every practice, I am not going to lie,” Carlos Alcaraz said to ATP in October.
Annacone said that the 2021 US Open champion would have to come to terms with the fact that Novak would be on his radar for a considerable time in the future.
“The Alcaraz quote I wanted to get back to. I’m thinking about Djokovic’ like he’s on my mind. Sure, he’s going to be focused on him… And he knows that that journey is going to have Novak in front of them for the time being. Yeah, the age gap is a big point in this,” he said to Tennis Channel.
Annacone also projected a positive picture of the Spaniard’s career, praising his “ability to look at the bigger picture”.
“As he continues to play, and even already when you watch his schedule, you see his ability to look at the big picture. So sure, it gives him a target to emulate and to look at,” Annacone added.
Carlos Alcaraz will begin his journey in the Nitto ATP Finals on Sunday, November 12.
What are your opinions on the Carlos Alcaraz-Novak Djokovic rivalry? Will they face again in the ATP Finals? Let us know in the comments section below.