US Open: A renewal of Djokovic-Alcaraz likely on the cards
Casper Ruud, runner-up to the Spanish world No.1 feels a match-up between them will be a ‘treat for fans’
The US Open, the last slam event of the year which gets underway later today, is being billed as a possible showdown between Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz again. The rivalry between the pair, a study in contrast in terms of age and accomplishments, has been the talking point of the tennis world since the 20-year-old world No.1 dethroned the 23-time grand slam winner in that epic final at Wimbledon.
Alcaraz and Djokovic are the top two seeds, respectively, at Flushing Meadows – meaning that the duo are in line to meet in the final in New York - barring any change in script in the coming two weeks. A potential final which, in the words of last year’s runner-up Casper Rudd, will be a ‘treat for the fans.’
Any elite sport thrives on match-ups, and the run-up to US Open got a major shot in the arm when the Serbian saved a championship point as he won the longest best-of-three final in ATP Tour history against Alcaraz to claim the 39th Masters title of his career.
Speaking during an interview with Eurosport, Rudd – who finished as a runner-up to Alcaraz in the US Open last year – said: ‘’Carlos and Novak, they kind of play similar tennis in a way.’’
‘’Just there’s one thing that they do opposite. I mean, they have kind of all shots in the book. But Carlos maybe plays at a little higher speed in the way he can accelerate even more. But they move great. They have all shots. It’s tough to find their weaknesses. They both have a good drop shot. Carlos plays may be more forehands, Novak defends from the backhand side.
‘’They're good enough as it is on the net. They've got good hand skills and their returns are great. So obviously it's always going to be a good match-up when they play each other. And you've seen it in the past four times that they’ve played and they have 2-2 head-to-head,’’ Ruud said in his chat show Ruud Talk.
Alcaraz faces a tricky test in his title-defence though, after having been drawn alongside Cameron Norrie, Alexander Zverev and Jannik Sinner in the same quarter in men's singles. Novak Djokovic, a three-time champion in New York, is all set for a quarter final date with seventh seed Stefanos Tsitsipas.