The Spanish young sensation Carlos Alcaraz has expressed that he would love to have an opportunity to face Novak Djokovic in the “iconic” Italian Open final.
The 20-year-old described the ATP Masters 1000 event as an “iconic” tournament for Djokovic and recognised facing the Serbian would be a “big challenge.”
The Spaniard replaced Novak as the world’s number one with a 6-4, 6-1 win over his fellow countrymen Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the ongoing Italian Open. Meanwhile, Djokovic defeated Tomas Martin Etcheverry 7-6(5), 6-2 in the second round as he began his title defence.
The Italian Open is the first tournament of this season to feature both Novak and Alcaraz. The Serbian missed the Madrid Open last month as he was going through an elbow injury.
“Yes, of course. It’s always a big challenge to play against Novak but as you said it’s a long run before the final and I hope to play the final here in my first appearance in Rome, would be, could be great. Of course, as you say, if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best,” Alcaraz said in an interview with Tennis Channel’s Prakash Amritraj.
The 20-year-old also talked about how comfortable Novak feels at the Italian Open as he won the tournament six times.
“Playing against Novak here, it’s such an iconic tournament for him as well. He won a lot of times here, made a lot of finals as well. I know he feels really really comfortable here and he has a lot of chances to make the finals. In my case, I want to work and play my best tennis to make that possible.”
The Madrid Open champion also talked about his win over Ramos-Vinolas and the transition to the Rome conditions after winning the Madrid Open.
“Yeah for me, was a little bit difficult the beginning. I have to adapt my game to the conditions here in Rome, the beginning of every tournament is really tough. Of course, playing with Albert in such tough conditions, really slow, it’s tough,” the Spaniard added.