Carlos Alcaraz suffering same problem Novak Djokovic did after surprise loss

Daniil Medvedev believes Carlos Alcaraz is suffering the same problem that once troubled a young Novak Djokovic. Alcaraz suffered a shock defeat at the ATP Finals, losing 7-6 3-6 4-6 against Alexander Zverez.

The Spaniard’s form has dipped in recent months. He was surprisingly dumped out of the Paris Masters in the last-32 by World No 39 Roman Safiullin, and suffered a shock defeat against Gregor Dimitrov in Shanghai.

Alcaraz started the year so well, building on his maiden Grand Slam at last year’s US Open. He triumphed at Wimbledon this summer but has struggled for consistency ever since.

The 20-year-old was almost certain to retain his crown as the year-end No 1. However, he has been leapfrogged by veteran Djokovic. Medvedev believes Alcaraz is suffering from the same dip in confidence that Djokovic would endure during his first few years as a professional.

Asked if he expected Alcaraz to beat Zverev, Medvedev said: “If you would have asked me two, three months ago, for sure. Tennis is very, very tricky sport. At this moment, for whatever reason, we feel that Carlos plays just a little bit slower.

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“He doesn’t have the same confidence he had throughout the whole year. This can happen to everyone. This even happen to Novak when he was younger.

“The question is, how fast is he going to recover. Is it going to be this tournament or next year. When he lost the second set, they showed the speed of the strokes, groundstrokes. Sascha was like 10 kilometres higher than Carlos. This is very surprising.

“In general when I saw the match, in the beginning we felt that Carlos is not playing his best. Sascha also. So I’m not surprised at all.

“In the end it turned out to be a great fight and a great match. No surprises. Sascha can play well also, serve well. It’s going to be interesting to play him for the 18th time.”

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Meanwhile, Alcaraz has questioned the decision to end the year on the fastest possible courts. He blamed his defeat to Zverev on the speed of the surface. “Yeah, I mean, this surface is the fastest on the year, that’s for sure,” he said.

“I don’t know why they put this kind of surface at the end of the year because all the tournaments that we have played on hard court is so, so slow, then we come here to the Masters and they put this court so, fast. I don’t know why.

“I’m not going to say they should do the tournament outdoors or indoors. I don’t understand about the speed of the surface because we never played on a surface like this in the year.”

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