ATP: On the grass, a new beginning

Carlos Alcaraz
Mal Taam/MALTphoto

“[Djokovic] takes your soul, then he dig your grave and you have a funeral and you’re dead. Bye-bye.” – Goran Ivanisevic

Now it is on the grass, which is totally different on  rather than the clay. It is much faster, and it skids, so there it won’t be really long points. Forty years ago, it was super fast, and you had to bend down, constantly. There were very few points, with a million aces, or quick winners. However, they decided to gradually change, not immediately, but eventually, they did, so now there will be longer points. 

Some of the excellent players know how to play the right way, in the grass, clay, and the hardcourts. 
The No. 1 Novak Djokovic knows almost all of it, and while just like two other fantastic players, with Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer, there were also times when they were not playing well at all. That is why they lost. They all have, too, eventually.

Djokovic played amazing at Roland Garros, and he has won Wimbledon seven  times. Yes, he is the favorite, and one of the reasons why his coach Goran Ivanisevic, won it just once, in 2001, but the huge hitter said that outside of Djokovic and Rafa Nadal that there are some fine young players. There were some broadcasters who thought that Carlos Alcaraz would take down Djokovic in the semis in Paris, but the Serbian stood tall, and he beat him in four sets. In the last two sets, Alcaraz made so many errors, and he was gone. Plus, it is not just two out of three, but three out of five. That is totally different. 

“All this for me was little strange. Even I read a lot of paper, a lot of people saying that Alcaraz is a favorite against Novak,” Ivanisevic said. “You cannot say that. The guy played 33 Grand Slam finals. He won 23 Grand Slams.  Alcaraz is the next unbelievable, he’s amazing, I love Carlos, and he’s going to win I don’t know how many Grand Slams, but you cannot say that he’s a favorite. He played better coming here. But this is Grand Slam. This is nerves. You see what happened in the third set to him. And Novak knows. Novak knows. Novak waits. 
Like [Andy] Roddick said, I read, he takes the legs, then he takes your soul, then he dig your grave and you have a funeral and you’re dead. Bye-bye. Thank you for coming (smiling).” 

Alcaraz  won the 2022 U.S. Open, and outside in the 2023 Roland Garros, he recently won Barcelona and Madrid. Last year, before he took off in September, he lost in the fourth round at Wimbledon. He wasn’t ready yet. However, Ivanisevic said that he has improved a lot, so maybe on the grass in three weeks, he can explode, again.

“I love Carlos. First of all, he’s a great kid,” Ivanisevic said. “ He’s still kid. And he’s such a well-educated, nice, always laughing, great tennis player, already won a Grand Slam.  He’s gonna be extremely dangerous. There are few more guys, always [Daniil] Medvedev, but Carlos, I love that guy. He’s a fresh air for tennis, how he plays, how he smiles, how he’s happy, how he plays tennis on the court, the ideas, is just amazing. For sure he’s gonna be threat. He’s going to be threat on grass, he’s gonna be threat on hard court, he’s gonna be threat everywhere.  But, it’s always this “but,” he’s still young. You know, you have Novak and you can’t ever bet against Novak.”

It is pretty tough to predict who will reach into the quarters at Wimbledon as someone could get hurt, or to catch on fire. But here are 10 more such as Djokovic, Alcaraz, Medvedev [although he just lost], Casper Ruud, Alexander Zverev, Holger Rune, Andrey Rublev, Karen Khachanov, Taylor Fritz [who also just lost, too], and Frances Tiafoe , [who just one]. Next week, it could be totally different .