Novak Djokovic made the most of his experience to outclass world no.1 Carlos Alcaraz Garfia in the first semi-final of the ongoing French Open. The two-time French Open champion, who is chasing a record 23rd men’s Grand Slam title and third Roland Garros crown, defeated an ailing Alcaraz 6-2, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 to become the oldest men’s finalist in Paris since Bill Tilden in 1930. After making it a set apiece, Alcaraz barely moved in the third and fourth set due to his physical struggles, allowing Djokovic to breeze past him at Court Philippe Chatrier.

During the second set, however, Alcaraz hit the shot of the tournament, leaving everyone inside the arena, including Djokovic in complete awe.

The 36-year-old tempted Alcaraz with a drop shot, which the 20-year-old did manage to return. Djokovic would then play a deep shot which led Alcaraz to scramble to the baseline.

While everyone thought that the 20-year-old would try to loft the ball over Djokovic, he did the unthinkable by sending the ball toward’s his opponent’s right with a delicate flick.

The crowd was in complete awe and stood up to applaud the youngster while Djokovic and Alcaraz both stood there laughing.

His shot, however, reminded fans of Roger Federer’s winner against David Nalbandian in the 2006 French Open semifinal.

After the match, Djokovic backed Alcaraz to win the French Open “multiple times” after the young Spaniard suffered severe cramps which derailed his titles hopes Friday.


“It was very demanding physically for both of us, and things like that physically, cramps or whatever he was struggling with, can happen,” said Djokovic, who will meet last year’s runner-up Casper Ruud in his 34th Grand Slam final.

“Respect for him for hanging in there until the last point, really. It was obvious that he was struggling with his movement.

(With AFP Inputs)

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