According to Carlos Alcaraz, he fears two players above all others on the ATP tour. One of those is Daniil Medvedev (makes sense as Medvedev clearly has zero fear of Alcaraz). The other player Alcaraz thinks is scary to play is Jannik Sinner. You likely have noticed Novak Djokovic is not on the list for Alcaraz.
Possibly Alcaraz just was knee-jerk reacting to a question posed on Tennis TV last week during the Rolex Shanghai Masters. The Spaniard wasn’t really thinking about future matches but about two players who had recently beaten him. Let me rephrase that a bit.
Medvedev didn’t just defeat Alcaraz in the semifinals of the US Open. The Russian put a beatdown on Alcaraz 7-6(3) 6-1 3-6 6-3. Sure, Alcaraz won a set but the match never felt that close. Medvedev and Alcaraz now have an all-time head-to-head of 2-2.
In the semifinals at the China Open, Jannik Sinner was by far the better player than Alcaraz as the Italian defeated Alcaraz 7-6(4) 6-1. The way Sinner played should be scary for Alcaraz because of the relative ease the 22-year-old Sinner beat the 20-year-old Alcaraz. So with that in recent memory, Alcaraz wanted to play nice and name two players he fears that had most recently defeated him.
Carlos Alcaraz seems to snub Novak Djokovic in recent comments
But in doing so, Alcaraz left out Novak Djokovic. Djokovic and Alcaraz have a head-to-head record of 2-2. The two players have never met in a tournament prior to a semifinal. They have split each match since they first met in the semis of the ATP Master in Madrid in 2022. While Alcaraz won the Wimbledon final between the two, Novak Djokovic defeated the Spaniard in the semis of the French Open. Then Djokovic beat Alcaraz in the final of the Cincinnati Open in August.
One might assume that on the top of the list that Alcaraz is scared to play the most is Novak Djokovic as the two only play in high-stress, high-importance matches and they have an equal amount of victories when playing the other. But no. Alcaraz fears other players more, per his own words.
In fairness, however, Alcaraz has also said that Novak Djokovic is always on his mind in “almost…every practice.” Maybe Alcaraz doesn’t have time to fear Djokovic because he’s too busy thinking about Djokovic. Either way, for now, at least Carlos Alcaraz versus Novak Djokovic makes for the best current tennis drama.