Carlos Alcaraz is hoping to meet Novak Djokovic at the Monte-Carlo Masters, but his first target is a second-round tie with Sebastian Korda.
Alcaraz is one of the brightest prospects on the ATP Tour, with the 18-year-old Spaniard winning his maiden Masters title at the Miami Open and becoming the tournament’s youngest male champion.
It was Alcaraz’s second title of 2022 and third overall. He is now 11th in the ATP world rankings.
Seeded eighth, Alcaraz was granted a second-round bye but is in the same quarter of the draw as world number one Djokovic, who has twice triumphed in Monte Carlo.
Alcaraz, however, is making sure not to rush too much and think too much about a first meeting with Djokovic, with American Korda – who beat Botic van de Zandschulp in his first-round match – leading the way.
“I don’t want to be rushed, I’m just focusing on the first [match]”, Alcaraz told reporters ahead of what is a rematch of the Next Gen ATP Finals Championship match which he won in straight sets.
“Obviously it would be a great game against Novak.
“Playing against the number one player in the world [would be] unbelievable for me, but I hope to play well in the first [matches] and I hope to meet him in the quarter-finals.”
Alcaraz appears to have a future at the top of the game, but insists everything must be done step by step.
“Sometimes it’s hard, but I try to make it easy,” he said.
“Doing everything for the first time, I try my best, I try to handle the nerves of the first time well.”
Taylor Fritz, who won a Masters title in Indian Wells earlier this year, could also stand in the way of Alcaraz and the quarter-finals, should the American beat wild card Lucas Catarina and Marin Cilic.
Djokovic, meanwhile, takes on Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in his debut match.