Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic to Meet in French Open Semifinals

Logo The New York TimesThe New York Times
2023-06-08 16:24:16  • 7 mins

Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic, who have played each other only once, will finally do so again on Friday in the French Open semifinals. Can the ultimate young talent beat the ultimate tennis mind?

A moment arrives nearly every time a younger player seizes the advantage over Novak Djokovic, with designs of toppling him from his perch at the top of tennis.

It doesnt matter how deep a hole Djokovic has dug for himself, or how well the whippersnapper on the other side of the net might be playing.

Maybe Djokovic is down by two sets, as he was against Stefanos Tsitsipas in the French Open final two years ago and against Jannik Sinner in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon last year. Perhaps Djokovic is hobbling around the court with an injury after letting his opponent draw even, as he was after four sets against Taylor Fritz at the Australian Open in 2021, when he had torn an abdominal muscle and coughed up a two-set lead.

Then the other guy begins to think he might actually be on the verge of something grand, just as Carlos Alcaraz, the 20-year-old Spanish sensation, might do on Friday at the French Open in his semifinal showdown with Djokovic, a match the sport has been yearning for since the spring of 2022.

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