Carlos Alcaraz has delivered a candid response to reporters after his quarter-final win at Wimbledon, having been caught up in a bizarre spying scandal involving Novak Djokovic. Spain’s World No.1 booked a spot in his first ever semi-final at The All England Club after an impressive straight-sets win over fellow young gun Holger Rune.
The 20-year-old set up a last-four showdown against Daniil Medvdev with a 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 6-4 trouncing of the Dane, before having to answers questions about his father secretly filming Djokovic’s practice session. Dubbed ‘Spygate’ across the English press, Alcaraz’s father Carlos was reportedly spotted recording Djokovic while the seven-time champion was training at Wimbledon’s Aorangi Park.
Carlos is a regular member of his son’s entourage and according to his son, a “huge fan of tennis”. When quizzed about his father filming Djokovic at practice, Alcaraz – who is on track to meet the World No.2 in the final – didn’t seem overly surprised or concerned.
Oh, probably it is true. My father is a huge fan of tennis. He doesn’t only watch my matches,” said Alcaraz. “I think he gets into the club at 11am, gets out at 10pm, watching matches, watching practice from everyone.
“Being able to watch Djokovic in real life, yeah, probably it is true he’s filmed the sessions.” Pressed on whether having the video footage would give him a competitive advantage, Alcaraz said: “I don’t think so. “I mean, I have a lot of videos from Djokovic on every platform. I think it’s not an advantage for me.”
Novak Djokovic hits out at lack of privacy
It comes after Djokovic himself hit out at the lack of privacy in training when speaking to Serbian media at Wimbledon. He said knowing rivals were watching and trying to glean snippets of information about his game, potential tactics or other things the Serb and his team might be working on, meant he was constantly on guard at training.
“The circumstances are such that we don’t have privacy in training, although sometimes I would like to have more privacy,” Djokovic said. “Then it gives me more opportunities to try some things, to communicate more clearly with my team.
“The fact is that you are not completely relaxed in training. You know your rivals are there, you know everyone is looking over your shoulder at what’s going on, what you’re working on. Every shot is measured, evaluated and assessed. That, through some analysis, affects the eventual meeting with Alcaraz or anyone. Concentration is required. For me, training is like a match. I bring that intensity to training as well.”
Carlos Alcaraz looking more and more dangerous on grass
The ‘Spygate’ drama came after Alcaraz provided another emphatic statement on grass, in just his fourth tournament on his least preferred surface. Fresh from his Queen’s Championship triumph, Alcaraz proved too good against Rune and looks the man most likely to stop Djokovic clinching a record-equalling eighth Wimbledon crown and 24th grand slam title overall.
“Honestly, it’s amazing for me, a dream since I started playing tennis, making good results at Wimbledon, such a beautiful tournament,” Alcaraz said after the match. “I’m playing at a great level, I didn’t expect to play such a great level on this surface so for me, it’s crazy.
“At the beginning, I was really nervous playing a quarter-final and playing against Rune, someone the same age and playing at a great level. But once you get to a quarter-final there are no friends, you have to focus on yourself and I did great in that.”
The Spaniard’s opponent in the last-four is Russian star Medvedev, who also reached the first Wimbledon semi-final of his career after coming from two sets to one down to beat American surprise packet Chris Eubanks 6-4 1-6 4-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-1. The 2021 US Open champion stayed on course but only after making a sterling mid-match recovery following a period where the big-serving American completely blew him away.
“There was a moment I completely lost the game itself and he started playing really well,” admitted Medvedev, who had looked a bit lost as Eubanks, crashing down 17 aces, kept risking everything with his huge blows. However, Medvedev doused the fire to win a crucial fourth set tiebreak, before powering home in just under three hours.