Sporting Life

The smiling, swift, diverse precocity of Carlos Alcaraz

Carlos Alcaraz of Spain after defeating Daniil Medvedev in the final during the BNP Paribas Open on March 19, 2023. PHOTO: AFP
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Clear the calendar, stock the fridge, plump the cushions. In April, it’s imminent. Or perhaps May. Sport is about anticipating collisions and you can almost smell the gunpowder of this one. Carlos Alcaraz v Novak Djokovic; 19 v 35; No. 1 in the world against best in the world.

They’ve played only once, in Madrid 2022, and it took three tight sets – 6-7 (5-7), 7-5, 7-6 (7-5) – to separate them. Alcaraz won but he’s never played five sets against the Dean of Tennis or faced him in his favourite classroom, the Grand Slam.

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