Carlos Alcaraz v Novak Djokovic: ATP Finals semi-final – live | ATP Finals

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Here’s a reminder of when these two last met. Buy the hype on this one, trust me:

We have an email from Krishnamoorthy:

Hello Tom,

After Roger Federer retired and Rafael Nadal sort of went into oblivion, I have become a supporter of whoever plays against Djokovic. I am sure I am not alone.

You are not, Krishnamoorthy, but be prepared for Djokohive to give just as good they get.

When I said Alcaraz had not been in the best form, that is of course relative. He has still been producing some incredible tennis this week. This, for example…

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With the utmost respect to home favourite Jannik Sinner this is the final, right? Even if Sinner beats the winner, this is pretty much the match to decide the title of best men’s tennis player for 2023. Novak Djokovic has won three of the four grand slams, Carlos Alcaraz beat the world No 1 to claim the other. The 36-year-old Serb has seen off the young phenom in their two other meetings this year. Djokovic outmatched Alcaraz in Paris en route to the French Open title and then clawed his way to victory in the final of the Cincinnati Masters in a classic.

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They have both lost already at this ATP Finals, which is why this meeting is at the last four stage and not for the overall crown. Sinner’s win over Djokovic was a suprise, but Alcaraz’s form has not been as consistent by his own lofty standards since claiming the title at Wimbledon. The 20-year-old’s coach, Juan Carlos Ferrero, said this week: “I think that professionally [Alcaraz] has to start learning that the world of tennis is from January to November.”

The Spaniard needs no greater example of what is required to reach the top and stay there than the man who will be on the other side of the net to him at Pala Alpitour. Nobody needs to tell Djokovic, very much still the alpha in men’s tennis, that the season runs 11 months of the calendar. Should Djokovic, who has already sewn up the end-of-year world No 1 ranking, win his next two matches he will move past Roger Federer and take solo possession of the record for ATP Finals titles with seven.

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After Wimbledon it felt like Alcaraz was ready to become The Guytm, but now he has to win that battle all over again. I am hoping for fireworks.

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