Heir apparent Alcaraz feels ready to dethrone clay kings Nadal and Djokovic

Teenager Alcaraz, seeded sixth, would meet one of the two stalwarts in the last four should he make it.

By Press Association Published: 28 May 2022 - 11.13am

Young pretender Carlos Alcaraz insists he is ready to break the stranglehold of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic at the French Open.

The last six Roland Garros titles have gone to the gilded duo with Djokovic the defending champion and Nadal, a 13-time winner, the undisputed king of clay.

But 19-year-old Alcaraz is seen as the heir apparent and many are even tipping him to dethrone the big two at this year’s tournament.

Djokovic and Nadal are seeded to meet in a blockbuster quarter-final with Alcaraz, the sixth seed, on course to meet the winner in the semis.

“Well, I just, if I am winning, I’ll just play against one of them,” he said. “I think I’m ready.”

Alcaraz beat both Djokovic and Nadal, as well as world number three Alexander Zverev, on his way to the Madrid title earlier this month.

“It’s different to play against them (here),” added the young Spaniard. “I mean in the Masters 1,000 or another tournament it’s best of three rather than in a grand slam, but I would say I’m ready.”

Alcaraz takes on Russian 21st seed Karen Khachanov, who beat Britain’s Cameron Norrie on Friday night, in the fourth round.

“Well, I just practiced with him just once, but I watched other matches from him, so I know that it’s going to be a tough match,” he said.

“But at the same time as well as he’s a tough opponent, I like those matches.”

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