Friday’s titanic French Open semifinal match between Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic at Roland Garros could determine the balance of power in men’s tennis in the next seasons.
In the previous three Grand Slam competitions, Djokovic or Alcaraz were the winners. Djokovic entered the competition with a 19-match Grand Slam tournament winning streak since his last loss to Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals of Paris last year. He also won Wimbledon last July and the Australian Open in January.
After Alcaraz withdrew from the Australian Open, he went on to win the US Open in September. Djokovic was unable to play due to his refusal to be immunised. He has won his last 12 Slam matches entering the encounter on Friday.
The No-1 Rank
If Carlos Alcaraz beats Djokovic on Friday, he will hold on to the position of world number one when they release the new rankings on Monday.
A win for Djokovic will not only put him one victory from a record-setting 23rd men’s major title but also a return to the top of the rankings.
Alcaraz is the youngest man to reach the Roland Garros semi-finals since a 20-year-old Djokovic in 2007.
Alcaraz, also now 20, is attempting to become the youngest finalist and champion in Paris since Rafael Nadal won the title at the same age in 2006.
If 36-year-old Djokovic makes Sunday’s final, he will be the second-oldest man to do so in the history of the 98-year-old tournament. Victory would make him the oldest ever champion.
Djokovic is in his 12th French Open semi-final with a 6-5 record and is attempting to reach his seventh final. He’s also aiming to increase his men’s record to 34 Grand Slam tournament finals and win a record 23rd major title.
Victory on Sunday would make him the first man in history to win each Grand Slam tournament at least three times.
Margaret Court, Steffi Graf and Serena Williams have all accomplished the feat in women’s tennis.