Former British No.1 Tim Henman has picked Carlos Alcaraz as a favorite ahead of Novak Djokovic for the upcoming French Open 2023. Henman feels the Spaniard has played more matches in the ongoing season and has better results on clay than Novak Djokovic.
Alcaraz recently won the Barcelona Open by beating Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final. Subsequently, he won Madrid Open by besting lucky loser Jan-Lennard Struff in the summit clash. However, he was stunned by Fabian Marozsan in the round of 32 in the recently concluded Italian Open.
On the other hand, Novak Djokovic could not take part in the US tournaments due to his unvaccinated status. Furthermore, he was also troubled by an elbow injury. The Serbian recently suffered a loss against eventual runner-up Holger Rune in the Italian Open. Djokovic will be eyeing a record-breaking 23rd Grand Slam title in the absence of Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros.
Henman feels it will be an incredible match to watch if Alcaraz and Djokovic take on each other.
“It would be an incredible match to watch,” said Henman as quoted by Tennis head. “Djokovic’s standard is so high and we expect him to play brilliantly every day, but it’s not that easy. His career at this stage is about the majors, but he has been building up his timing and resilience for the Grand Slams.”
He continued, “I’m sure, come the start, he will be one of the favourites. I would put Alcaraz fractionally ahead of Djokovic because he has played more tennis and had some good results on clay.”
“Djokovic’s career is now just about the majors and he is building his fitness and level of play. The level of these two is just a little bit higher.”
While players like Casper Ruud, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Holger Rune, Jannik Sinner, and Andrey Rublev are title contenders, Henman feels Alcaraz and Djokovic are two clear favorites for the second slam of the year.
“Behind is [Casper] Ruud, [Stefanos] Tsitsipas, [Holger] Rune, [Jannik] Sinner and [Andrey] Rublev – who won his first Masters 1000 in Monte Carlo; they’re all great clay-court players. The strength in depth is incredible. But Alcaraz and Djokovic are the two clear favourites,” claimed the retired Brit.
The Roland Garros will begin on May 28 in Paris.