Djokovic Urged To 'Play Like John McEnroe' Against Alcaraz At Roland Garros

Djokovic Urged To 'Play Like John McEnroe' Against Alcaraz At Roland Garros

by Kadir Macar

The first men's Roland Garros semi-final will see Novak Djokovic take on Carlos Alcaraz for the first time since last year.

It will only be the second time Djokovic and Alcaraz play on the ATP Tour with their only match so far coming at the Madrid Open last year. It was a big one for Alcaraz but he managed to get it done in three sets creating history by becoming the latest player to beat Nadal and Djokovic back to back. He lifted the trophy and many believe the same will happen this time around if he beats Djokovic.

It will be an interesting matchup and Alcaraz is excited about the prospect of making history once more with Djokovic anticipating a tough and long match. The fate of the number one rank could be at stake with this match having direct implications on whether we'll see a Spanish or Serbian flag next to the number one rank on the ATP Rankings.

Former player Henri Leconte previewed the match urging Djokovic to play similarly to how John McEnroe played at his best. Variety in Djokovic's game will be crucial according to Leconte because it's unlikely that he can outhit Alcaraz directly.

If you let him play a little bit more you will be in a very bad situation because he's hitting the ball so hard. It's complicated because he has everything. He serves well, and returns well. The only thing maybe is he's staying very far back. You have to mix most of the time.

Leconte even suggested that the Serb may use more kick serves and vary the shots. But the biggest problem according to him is that the Spaniard must let Djokovic play, if he doesn't, he might be in trouble.

Try to kick serve and try to play a little bit like John McEnroe was doing - long shots, short ones – that would be maybe more difficult for him. The problem is he has to let you play. If he's on, it's complicated.


You may also like