French Open in Paris, semi-finals, Friday, 09.06.2023
The whole tennis world is watching this duel. High-flyer Carlos Alcaraz meets record Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic. The young Spaniard wants to win the French Open for the first time.
The “Djoker” could become the sole record holder with a triumph. He currently shares first place with Rafael Nadal after 22 victories.
Can his compatriot protect the record and beat Djokovic? In my Alcaraz Djokovic tip, I venture a prediction on Friday’s tennis clash
This time, I’m going to give it a try.
This match is actually worthy of a final. Alcaraz against Djokovic will play out one of the two semi-finals of the French Open on Friday. It is only the second duel between the two exceptional players.
Alcaraz has rushed to the top of the world rankings and currently leads them. His record in 2023: 35 wins and only three losses.
Compared to last year, he has raised his win rate from 79 to 92 per cent. Cameron Norrie in Rio, Jannik Sinner in Miami and Fabian Marozsan in Rome were the only players to defeat Alcaraz in 2023.
He has already secured four titles, including the Masters tournaments in Indian Wells and Madrid. He has also not lost at the French Open.
In his first five matches, he only dropped one set against Taro Daniel, who he subsequently only conceded three games in two rounds.
Most recently, he put Stefanos Tsitsipas in his place. The oddsmakers saw the Spaniard ahead, but expected a reasonably exciting match. But he swept the Greek from the court in three sets.
Tsitsipas was only able to score regularly in the third, but he also lost this set in Alcaraz’s only French Open tiebreak to date.
The reigning US Open champion secured 34 breaks in the first five matches, an average of around seven per game, a fabulous figure that should also impress Djokovic.
But the Serb also played a strong tournament up to the semi-finals. Apart from the false start against Karen Khachanov, he also did not drop a set at Roland Garros, but had to go into a tiebreak more often.
He has already played out five tiebreaks. The bookmakers also consider at least one tiebreak against Alcaraz likely. Betano offers odds of 1.60 on more than 0.5 tiebreaks, for (at least) two there would even be a 4.00.
Alcaraz is listed as the favourite. Those who believe that the man from Murcia will progress can take a 1.47 with Betano, the Serb is a slight underdog with odds of 2.72.
Despite the successful era of the “Djoker”, I think the odds are still too low. Alcaraz is currently on a much higher level. I only see chances for the 36-year-old if Alcaraz should go over the top.
But the world number one has made further big leaps forward compared to last year and minimised his number of errors.
Against a defensively superior and above all fast player with aggressive offensive strokes, it will be uncomfortable for Djokovic. This was already shown in his match against Holger Rune in Rome, which he lost in three sets.
Admittedly, Djokovic did not present his best tennis there with numerous errors and was also unable to build up any pressure in the rallies.
Djokovic has already experienced how complicated a match against Alcaraz is in Madrid 2022. It was the only duel between the two superstars so far that Alcaraz won after three sets and two tiebreaks.
A new Alcaraz victory is now certainly conceivable. But the odds of 1.47 are too low. Those betting on an Alcaraz win and speculating on less than 4.5 sets could consider the -1.5 handicap. For this, Betano provides a 1.78.
Conclusion: Alcaraz has already overtaken Djokovic in the world rankings. However, the two players have only met once on the court. At that time, the young Spaniard turned the match around.
Despite the famous duel, I expect a fairly clear victory for Alcaraz, who will not need more than four sets to enter the final.
With more aggression, speed and the necessary mental lightness in the matches, I see him with a clear advantage. In Djokovic’s difficult matches, there have been moments of despair time and again…
In addition, Alcaraz, who is loved by everyone, will have the crowd on his side. I therefore recommend the Alcaraz win with a set handicap of -1.5.