By Shrivathsa Sridhar
PARIS (Reuters) – Carlos Alcaraz described his French Open demolition of fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarter-finals on Tuesday as one of the best matches of his young career and said his level was only improving ahead of a meeting with Novak Djokovic.
Barring a late wobble that only slightly delayed the inevitable on the floodlit Court Philippe Chatrier, Alcaraz was in supreme form as he sealed a 6-2 6-1 7-6(5) win to set up the mouthwatering semi-final on Friday.
“Yeah, I think my level is getting better every time I’m winning. I think today was such a great level. I played really well. I’d say one of the best matches of my career,” Alcaraz told reporters.
“I’d say everything that I did, it was easy… I try to do it simple for me. Every shot that I’m making in the match means that I’m really comfortable on that shot.
“I feel great. I feel that every time that I make that shot, it’s going to be in. So it’s simple for me, as well.”
Alcaraz, who is chasing a second major title, knows exactly what it takes to get past 22-times Grand Slam champion Djokovic, having beaten the Serbian in three sets when they clashed for the first time in Madrid last year.
Their battle for the number one ranking has proven to be a long-distance rivalry this season due to injuries and Djokovic being forced to miss the U.S. hardcourt swing over his refusal to take the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Since the (Roland Garros) draw came out, everyone was expecting this match, the semi-final against Novak. Myself as well. I really want to play that match,” Alcaraz said.
“Since last year I really wanted to play again against him. We’re both playing a great level and as I said before, if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best. So I’m really looking forward to that match. I’m going to enjoy it.
“Of course for me, it’s amazing to make history, playing a semi-final with such a legend like Novak. So it’s going to be a great match for me.”
Alcaraz expects a different match but said he wanted to believe his youth would give him the edge over the 36-year-old Djokovic.
“But it’s going to be his 45th semi-final in a Grand Slam. This is going to be my second,” the U.S. Open champion added.
“I’d say the experience is better in that point, but I’m not going to think about that.”
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Paris; Editing by Toby Davis)
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