Carlos Alcaraz insists his ‘mental exercises’ can help him claim victory over Novak Djokovic

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Carlos Alcaraz insists his ‘mental exercises’ can help him claim victory over Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon final… as world No. 1 says he is ‘not afraid’ of battling the Serbian star

Carlos Alcaraz says he won’t buckle under pressure this time in today’s clash of generations Wimbledon final against 23-time Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic.

He says it will be the best moment of his life.

World No1 Alcaraz suffered cramps and admitted to wilting under the weight of expectation when the pair met in the French Open semi-final last month and he was well beaten.

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The Spaniard said he will rely on ‘mental exercises’ to help keep him calm before the mouthwatering rematch.

‘It is going to be the best moment of my life,’ said Alcaraz, still only 20. ‘Playing a final here in Wimbledon is something that I dreamed about when I started playing tennis. It’s even better playing Novak.

Carlos Alcaraz will be looking to secure his second Grand Slam title on Sunday afternoon

Carlos Alcaraz will be looking to secure his second Grand Slam title on Sunday afternoon

In order to do so, he'll have to get past the 23-time Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic

In order to do so, he’ll have to get past the 23-time Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic

‘It’s going to be a really emotional moment. But I’ll try to stay calm. For Novak it is just another day… for me, it’s going to be the best moment of my life. Probably with mentality I will do something different before the match to stay calm, to show I’m not nervous. I’ll do some mental exercises to stay calm and to forget that I’m going to play a final against Novak.

‘But I am ready for this. It’s a final, it’s not time to be afraid, it’s not time to be tired. I’m going to go for it. I believe I can beat him here and I will fight.’

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Djokovic is on a staggering streak of not losing on Centre Court for 10 years — the last defeat was by Andy Murray in the 2013 final — and the Serb has won the last four men’s singles titles.

He is one victory away from extending that for another 12 months — and after triumphing in Melbourne and Paris already in 2023, Djokovic is well on course to be the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to win the Calendar Grand Slam this year.

Ahead of his ninth Wimbledon final — he can go level with Roger Federer with eight men’s titles — Djokovic insists he does not feel calmer despite pulling ahead of Rafa Nadal in the Grand Slam race.

The superb Serb is now on 23 to the Spaniard’s 22 majors.

‘I still feel goosebumps and butterflies and nerves coming into every single match,’ he said. ‘So I’m going to be coming into Sunday’s final like it’s my first.’

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The Centre Court crowd tends to support Djokovic’s opponent — and the crowd love the creativity and charisma of young Alcaraz — but the Serb said he was not bothered.

Djokovic has insisted that he's not bothered about the charisma of his younger counterpart

Djokovic has insisted that he’s not bothered about the charisma of his younger counterpart

‘It’s all love,’ he said, laughing. ‘All love and acceptance.

‘This final is an ultimate showdown. Everything comes down to one match. All eyes of the tennis and sports world will be directed on this Wimbledon final.

‘This is probably the best final that we could have. We are both in good form. We’re both playing well. Carlos is an amazing player and a great guy off the court. He carries himself very, very well. He respects the history of the sport, respects everyone. There are bad words about him at all.

‘He’s very motivated. He’s young. He’s hungry. I’m hungry too… so let’s have a feast.’

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