Carlos Alcaraz takes the Saudi Arabia exhibition in opposition to Novak Djokovic | Tennis | Sports | EUROtoday

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

Saudi Arabia, the brand new financial hub of sport, hosted the primary duel between Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz, world numbers one and two, respectively, in a packed Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, with capability for 40,000 spectators. It was a match with out ATP factors at stake, in preparation for the season that begins shortly, and whose victory was received by the Spaniard (4-6, 6-4 and 6-4; 1h 52m).

It was an exhibition, however nobody saved any effort. With the marketing campaign about to start out, the Serbian and the Spanish want video games, filming. Djokovic goes to search for them within the United Cup, as chief of the Serbian group, a blended occasion that opens the Australian season. Alcaraz, who returns to Spain as a result of on Thursday he has one other preparation match scheduled in Murcia, in opposition to Roberto Bautista. In the highlight of the 2 finest on the circuit is the Australian Open, the primary Grand Slam of the course that will probably be performed in Melbourne within the second half of January.

Alcaraz, who closed the 2023 season with a defeat in Turin, within the ATP Finals in opposition to Djokovic, underpins the variation to a brand new season, that of its consolidation after the emergence in 2021 and the consolidation in 2022, which closed as quantity one of many world.

Nobody gave something away in Riyadh and the duel had the whole lot. Extraordinary factors and battle. But additionally good humor. The smile prevailed over the annoyance. No protests, no unhealthy gestures, no challenges. Alcaraz began higher, breaking Djokovic’s serve at first, though the winner of 24 majors reacted, imposed his regulation, balanced the scenario and took the lead till making the primary set his personal.

History repeated itself within the second set, with 2-0 for the Spaniard. This time, nevertheless, there was no response from the Serbian and the Murcian, with recent legs and in full boiling spirit, equalized the duel. Alcaraz opened the hole within the third set (3-1), the world primary reacted (3-3) and the Murcian responded, breaking serve within the ninth sport (5-4), a bonus that he ended up making good use of. .

You can comply with EL PAÍS Deportes in Facebook y Xclick on right here to obtain our weekly e-newsletter.