Alcaraz vs Djokovic predictions: Spanish sensation can prevail
- Alcaraz has lost only two of his 27 clay-court matches this season
- Djokovic has failed to win a set in only one of his 13 clay-court matches this season
- Recommended bet: Alcaraz to win 3-1
When the French Open draw was made a Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic semi-final was not only the hope but the expectation, and the current best two players on the planet should serve up a belter at Roland Garros.
Young gun Alcaraz is the current world number one and has been entrusted to carry the Spanish baton in the absence of legendary compatriot Rafael Nadal, who has made the French Open his own having been crowned champion on a record-setting 14 occasions.
Djokovic is currently sat third in the world but the 22-time Grand Slam champion is to soon leapfrog Daniil Medvedev in the rankings.
Alcaraz got his first taste of Grand Slam glory at the US Open last year and the 20-year-old sensation will be feeling pretty confident having already claimed clay-court titles in Buenos Aires, Barcelona and Madrid this season.
Djokovic, meanwhile, is a two-time French Open champion and he lifted the first Grand Slam of the season in Australia, showing he remains at the summit despite his advancing years.
This is only the second career meeting between these two players with the younger legs of Alcaraz prevailing in a thrilling deciding set in Madrid of May last year.
The Spaniard triumphed 6-7 7-5 7-6 in that clay encounter on home soil, which was a closely-fought contest that featured only three breaks of serve throughout.
Alcaraz has proved a formidable opponent on the slower surface this season, losing only two of his 27 clay-court matches.
The Murcia man has won 14 of his last 18 matches on the red dirt in straight sets, which includes four of his five wins in Paris, dropping a set only to Taro Daniel in round two.
This is Djokovic’s most vulnerable surface but the super Serb is featuring in his 12th French Open semi-final, having made at least the last four in four of the last five seasons.
The 36-year-old, who was crowned champion in 2016 and 2021, has also won four of his five French Open assignments in straight sets.
He has played only 13 matches during this season’s clay-court campaign, winning 10 of those rivalries but dropping sets on six occasions.
While Djokovic was made to work hard in his quarter-final encounter with Khachanov, coming from a set down and winning the second in a tie-break, Alcaraz produced a devastating display to see off Greek fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas.
That emphatic 6-2 6-1 7-6 win over Tsitsipas, who was runner-up at Roland Garros in 2021, rightly makes the Spanish youngster a strong favourite, but the excellent defence of Djokovic means it is likely to be a topsy-turvy encounter.
Djokovic lost in four sets to eventual champion Nadal in last year’s French Open and this season’s exits in Monte Carlo and Rome saw him lose 2-1 to Lorenzo Musetti and Holger Rune.
Only two of Djokovic’s 22-Grand Slam successes have come in the French capital, which shows he is very beatable on this surface, and in Alcaraz he faces an opponent who could dominate the sport for many years to come.
When these two clashed on the clay of Madrid last year, Alcaraz won 2-1 and while he is expected to show his class again, a determined Djokovic will not go down without a fight and can get a set on the board.