Wimbledon 2024: It could be Alcaraz v Djokovic again in final, but not likely an epic, says Vijay Amritraj

Mumbai:  With four very different players in the semifinals, many fans and experts are expecting defending champion Carlos Alcaraz of Spain and Serbia’s 24-time Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic to face off in the men’s singles semifinals at Wimbledon 2024. In the semifinals on Friday, Alcaraz will take on Daniil Medvedev while Djokovic will meet Lorenzo Musetti. Former top-20 player from India and noted commentator Vijay Amritraj believes that Sunday’s final could be a repeat of last year’s summit clash in which Alcaraz overcame Djokovic in a five-set thriller.

Alcaraz defeated Djokovic 1–6, 7–6(6), 6–1, 3–6, 6–4 in an epic final last year ending the Serbian’s win-spree of four titles since 2018 (Wimbledon was not played in 2020 due to Covid-19 pandemic.

However, Amritraj feels even if Alcaraz and Djokovic meet again in Sunday’s final, their clash may not produce spectacular tennis as it did last year.

Asked who will be his pick for the title at Wimbledon, Amritraj said, “Okay, you are trying to put me on the spot, but you know, I’ll go for it anyway. Before the tournament started, I looked at the draw and my thoughts were on Djokovic to get to the final. And then my thoughts were, if it goes according to plan, it would be either Alcaraz or Sinner. But as it turns out, things obviously change along the way and Wimbledon has a habit of doing that on a regular basis.

“Could it be an Alcaraz-Djokovic final still? Yes, it could be. Could it be a final like we saw last year? I don’t know. That final was absolutely magnificent. Came down to one point in that fifth set where Djokovic, missed a high overhead with with one love to go up a break of serve in the fifth.

“So, I think when we look at who’s left in the field, Medvedev has a habit of also causing major upsets that could possibly happen as well. But on the face of it, it still looks like Djokovic would be in the final. I think he’ll get by Mussetti. Taylor Fritz might have given him a bit more trouble, but I do believe that the Alcaraz vs Medvedev match will potentially be a longer match. But I still think it’ll be an Alcaraz vs Djokovic final,” Amritraj told IANS in an exclusive interaction facilitated by Star Sports, who are broadcasting the grass-court major in India.

Asked about the women’s section of Wimbledon in which Donna Vekic of Croatia, Jasmine Paolini of Italy, Elina Rybakina of Kazakhstan, and Barbora Krejcikova of Czech Republic have reached the semifinals, Amritraj said the women’s tennis scene has been more open since the retirement of the Williams sisters.

“Women’s tennis has been a lot more open in the last, I would say, five, eight years since the time of the Williams sisters. So I think when you look at women’s tennis, we’ve got one champion left in there with Rybakina. I think she has a chance as maybe an odds-on favourite at this point to perhaps win.

“But then again, if you look at Vekic and Paolini and Krejcikova, all three of them have been in situations where they’ve beaten big players in the past. Krejcikova has won a slam. I think Vecic is playing the best tennis of her life now on grass. It’s more wide open to me, outside of Rybakina perhaps, than a Djokovic-Alcaraz final,” said Amritraj, who reached the quarterfinals at Wimbledon twice in 1973 and 1981.

–IANS

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