Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz blames ‘stress’ after Djokovic French Open defeat

Image of Spanish tennis star Carlos Alcaraz.

Image of Spanish tennis star Carlos Alcaraz in 2022. Credit: Leonard Zhukovsky/

Novak Djokovic reached the final of the French Open after disposing of Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz in what eventually turned into a pretty one-sided match.

The legendary Serb called on his vast experience in Paris this Saturday, June 10, to deny the 20-year-old Spaniard another Grand Slam final appearance.

Alcaraz is the current US Open men’s singles champion and also No. 1 in the ATP world rankings but he could not cope with Djokovic and fell to a 6-3 5-7 6-1 6-1 defeat at Roland Garros.

They had only met on one previous occasion, with the young Spaniard knocking him out of the Spanish Open in Madrid last July. Today’s match however was their first encounter at one of the four Grand Slams.

It was only the second appearance in a Grand Slam semi-final for the Spanish star, compared to a 45th for the 36-year-old Dojokovic.

Speaking in his televised post-match interview, Alcaraz openly admitted that nerves got the better of him and affected his performance. “It is not easy to play against Novak, he is a legend of our sport”.

He added: “It has been really tough for me. I have never felt tension like I did in that match. If someone says he goes onto the court with no nerves playing against Novak, he lies.”

By the third set, Alcazaz was in obvious discomfort

Alcaraz was clearly in trouble and he twice received treatment on court, as early as the second set. By the third set, he was struggling.

“At the beginning of the third set I started to cramp every part of my body, not only the legs. The arms, as well, every part of the legs”, he explained.

The youngster from Murcia continued: “It was really tough for me to move at the third set, and in the fourth set let’s say I had a little chance, but it was really tough. My full body started to cramp.”

In his own words, he refused to retire and kept playing, while knowing inside that he had no chance of winning the match.

In a tweet, Alcaraz wrote: “THANK YOU PARIS for the support!  Congratulations to @DjokerNole for the victory and good luck in the final on Sunday! See you next year @rolandgarros!” 

Djokovic now faces a tough match tomorrow, Sunday 12, against last year’s beaten finalist, the 24-year-old Norwegian, Casper Ruud, ranked fourth in the world. Should he be victorious, the Serbian tennis giant will replace Alcaraz at the top of the world rankings once again.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at