Paris [France], June 10 (ANI): The World No.1 Carlos Alcaraz could not hide his disappointment after his French Open 2023 title hopes unravelled during a semifinal clash against the 22-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic, who is chasing a men’s record-extending 23rd major crown.
Alcaraz put on a display in his semifinal encounter against Djokovic at Roland Garros, matching Serbian’s stride for stride as the ATP players went toe-to-toe.
However, after winning the second set to tie the match, the 20-year-old Spaniard began to get cramps in his right calf and was forced to surrender his service game at 1-1 in the third set in order to obtain prompt treatment from the physio at the changeover. Djokovic, a two-time champion, went on to win 12 of the next 14 games.
Following the match, the Spaniard was asked if his cramping experience was the most difficult he had ever had on the court.
“Probably. It has been really tough for me today. I have never felt something like I did today. I have never felt the tension that I did in that match,” the 20-year-old Spaniard was quoted as saying by ATP.com.
“I would say the first set and the second set was really, really intense and I started to cramp in my arm. At the beginning of the third set, I started to cramp every part of my body, not only the legs. The arms, as well, every part of the legs. It was really tough for me to move at the third set, and in the fourth set let’s say I had a little chance, but it was really tough. My full body started to cramp,” Alcaraz later continued.
The top seed, who was the youngest man to reach the Roland Garros semi-finals since a then-20-year-old Djokovic in 2007, believes the pressure of the moment contributed to his physical demise.
“It was the tension of the match. I started the match really nervous. The tension of the first set, the second set, it was really intense two sets, as well. There [were] really good rallies, tough rallies. Drop shots, sprints, rallies. It’s a combination of a lot of things. But the main thing, it was the tension that I had all the two first sets,” Alcaraz said.
“You have to learn from these kinds of matches, these kinds of experiences. I would say I take lessons from that match. I will try [for it] to not happen again in these matches. I have to take lessons from that experience and it’s something that I have to deal with,” the 20-year-old Spaniard said. (ANI)
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