Novak Djokovic has had his fair proportion of rivalries over his profession however says the newest, with Carlos Alcaraz, is bringing the best possible out of him.
Djokovic begins his quest for a twenty fourth grand slam title at the US Open on Monday having already eclipsed the totals of his illustrious friends, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
However the man prone to be standing in his method is Alcaraz, the defending champion who beat Djokovic in the Wimbledon closing final month.
Djokovic received a measure of revenge when he outlasted the 20-year-old Spaniard in a close to four-hour closing in Cincinnati every week in the past.
The duo could also be at the reverse finish of their careers however they’ve already constructed a rivalry which appears set to endure for so long as Djokovic, 36, continues to select up a racket.
“He’s at all times pushing me to the restrict,” mentioned the Serbian. “I feel I do to him just about the identical factor. That’s why we produced a memorable closing.
“It was one of the greatest, most enjoyable, and most tough finals I used to be ever half of in best-of-three, little doubt, all through my profession.
“That’s why I fell on the floor after I received the match as a result of it felt like profitable a grand slam, to be sincere. The quantity of exchanges and rallies. It was bodily so demanding and gruelling that I felt very exhausted for the subsequent few days.
“These are form of the moments in matches that I nonetheless push myself each day, day in and day trip, follow, sacrifice, dedication. At 36, I nonetheless have the drive.”
If Djokovic wins his first-round match, in opposition to Frenchman Alexandre Muller, he’ll overtake Alcaraz to turn into world primary once more.
Alcaraz, the prime seed, begins his marketing campaign on Tuesday in opposition to Dominik Koepfer of Germany.
Iga Swiatek opens proceedings on Monday in opposition to Rebecca Peterson of Sweden as she bids to defend the title she received final 12 months.
“On one hand you at all times wish to form of take expertise from final 12 months, discover all these constructive issues that occurred, take power from that,” mentioned the world primary from Poland.
“On the different hand you must keep in mind that it’s a very totally different story. Quite a bit can occur throughout like these 12 months.
“So I attempt to take all the pieces step-by-step, probably not go ahead with my ideas, assume that I have to do one thing extra as a result of final 12 months I received.”