Facebook Social Button Twitter Social Button Follow Us on InstagramYouTube Social Button
NewsScoresRankingsLucky Letcord PodcastShopPro GearPickleballGear Sale

By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Tuesday June 6, 2023

Carlos Alcaraz

Carlos Alcaraz rolled past Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets to book a long awaited second clash with Novak Djokovic at Roland-Garros.

Photo Source: Getty

The moment the Roland-Garros draw came out on the Thursday before the tournament, anticipation was high that a Carlos Alcaraz vs. Novak Djokvovic rematch might materialize in the semifinals.

Wish granted.

Tennis Express

Alcaraz ran roughshod over 2021 Roland-Garros runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas in front of a charged Court Philippe-Chatrier crowd on Tuesday night in Paris, scoring a 6-1, 6-2, 7-6(5) victory for his 12th consecutive Grand Slam win and a trip to his first Roland-Garros semifinal.

The Spaniard, who improved to 35-3 on the season and 25-2 on clay, will face Djokovic for the second time, and for the first time in over a year.

Alcaraz won their previous meeting in the Madrid semifinals last May, 6-7(5), 7-5, 7-6(5).

“I would say since the draw came out, everyone was expecting that match, you know, the semifinal against Novak,” Alcaraz said. “Myself as well. I really want to play that match.”

On a warm, summer evening, the 20-year-old Spaniard played like a man that was in a hurry to start limbering up for the Djokovic challenge. He was up a set and 3-0 on Tsitsipas in about 90 minutes as he dazzled the crowd with his varied arsenal and put the Greek on the back foot with booming power, explosive movement and his trademark feather of a drop shot.

Tsitsipas, who drops to 0-5 lifetime against Alcaraz, was slow out of the gates and won just three of the first 18 games.

“I don't have a lot of things to tell you,” the No.5 seed said. “He played great. I mean, I don't think he played exceptional, but he played great.”

The Greek did mention that he has been having trouble sleeping and credited a poor decision to use melatonin as a sleep aid as a contributing factor to his poor start.

"I don't want to take anything from Carlos," he said. "The kid plays well. He deserves to win and everything. Let's just not talk about it. I'm really bummed about it, that it had such an effect on me, and let's move on."

Asked to look ahead to the semifinal between Alcaraz and Djokovic, which will be played on Friday, Tsitsipas said: “one has experience; the other one has legs and moves like Speedy Gonzalez, so you have that. One can hit huge, super big shots; and the other one prefers control over anything else, probably control and precision, to apply pressure and just make the opponent move as much as possible.

“I'm not good at predictions, so I'll stay away from it. But let's see. Let the best player win.”

Egged on by the packed crowd who were hungry to get their money’s worth, Tsitsipas did show heart in the final set, as he saved a total of five match points to prolong the match, while Alcaraz went sideway for a patch of games that enabled the Greek to recover a break back for 4-5.

Alcaraz had to wait, but finished the match in style in the tiebreak, as he peppered Tsitsipas backhand with serves and groundstrokes to pull away and end the contest in two hours and seven minutes.

Despite the letdown late in the third, Alcaraz gave himself high marks on the night.

“My level is getting better every time that I'm winning,” he said. “I think today was such a great level. I played really, really well. I would say one of my best matches on my career.”

In his post-match press conference he was asked the question that is on everybody’s mind at the moment: which is better, Alcaraz’s youth, or Djokovic’s experience?

“I want to think my youth,” he said with a smile. “But it's gonna be his 45th semifinal of a Grand Slam; this is gonna be my second. I would say the experience is better in that point, but I'm not gonna think about that.”


Latest News