Exclusive: Djokovic's Wimbledon Loss Not Because Of 'Pressure' But 'Alcaraz Effect' Says Macci

Exclusive: Djokovic's Wimbledon Loss Not Because Of 'Pressure' But 'Alcaraz Effect' Says Macci

by Erik Virostko

Last updated

Novak Djokovic lost in the 2023 Wimbledon final to Carlos Alcaraz, and while many thought it was the pressure that influenced him, Rick Macci has different opinion.

Playing against the best is always difficult, and that was the case when two highest-ranked players on the ATP Tour met in the 2023 Wimbledon final. After a thrilling five-setter, young prodigy Carlos Alcaraz won the title, stopping Novak Djokovic from matching Roger Federer's 8 Wimbledon titles.

Like almost every tennis fan in the world, renowned tennis coach Rick Macci was also watching the match. But as he often says, 'What you may see is different than what Rick may see (Macci).' In an exclusive interview with Tennis-Infinity.com, the seven-time USPTA Coach of the Year talked about the 2023 Wimbledon men's final.

It seemed that there was one crucial point that if Djokovic won, all could be different. Yet, he missed, but according to Macci, he didn't miss just without any reason. On the contrary, the reason being the fact that Carlos Alcaraz was standing on the other side of the net and returned every ball during that crucial rally.

"He's definitely human, but no, the pressure did not get to him. The Alcaraz effect got to him. You gotta remember, Carlos made a bunch of great saves during that rally, he got back two or three balls that most guys on the tour will not."

After the final, Djokovic said that Alcaraz was the best player in the world, and the compliments didn't end there. According to Macci, one of the best qualities that the young Spaniard possesses is the ability to return high-quality shots.

"And a couple of them, he got back with quality. See, he counters quality with quality where the rest of the world misses, or they lob it, or whatever. And even Djoker said: 'I've never played anybody like Alcaraz.' What a compliment. And he's played everybody."

Although some considered Alcaraz's win as a product of the important Djokovic's miss, Macci explained that it's far from being a reality. Since the 20-year-old was able to play so well, the Serb was forced to make that extra shot, and he couldn't just put it on the other side of the court, it had to be a good shot.

"And that's a 20-year-old kid we're talking about. First time Wimbledon finals. So I think there's a lot of meat on the bone. So no, the pressure didn't get to him, and he wasn't thinking about anything other than, you know, when one person plays good and the other plays bad, or when people miss, your opponent usually has something to do with it, and people don't understand that."

Similar to Djokovic's coach Goran Ivanisevic, also Macci thinks that the best is yet to come as the two may meet many more times, including the potential meeting at the 2023 US Open, where they should be the first and second seed once again.

"I mean, you gotta give credit to Alcaraz and not take anything away from Djokovic. But that being said, I think the best is still yet to come."


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