World number one Carlos Alcaraz is convinced he can defeat Novak Djokovic in Sunday’s blockbuster Wimbledon final, insisting there’s “no time to be afraid”.
Alcaraz, 20, became the youngest man to make the Wimbledon final since fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal in 2006 as he swept aside Daniil Medvedev 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 on Friday.
Djokovic defeated Jannik Sinner 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (7/4) in the other semi-final to reach his ninth Wimbledon title match, moving to the brink of a record-equalling eighth crown at the tournament and 24th career major.
The win over the Italian eighth seed gave the Serb his 34th successive match victory at the tournament and maintained his record of never losing on Centre Court since 2013.
Djokovic beat Alcaraz in the French Open semifinals in June, with the youngster admitting the body cramps that crippled him were caused by the stress and tension of facing the Serb.
“I will believe I can beat him here,” said Alcaraz, who is looking to add a first Wimbledon title to his US Open victory last year.
“Everyone knows the legend he is. He is going to be really difficult. I will fight. I will believe in myself.
“I saw that he is unbeaten here on Centre Court since 2013 so it’s going to be challenging but I am ready for this.”
Sunday will see Djokovic play in a record 35th Grand Slam final, while Alcaraz will be in just his second.
“It will be special playing against Novak. There’s no time to be afraid, no time to be tired,” Alcaraz said.
Alcaraz only won seven games when he suffered a straight sets loss to Medvedev at Wimbledon just two years ago.
Back then, however, he was 75 in the world while Medvedev was at number two in the rankings.
On Friday, serve dominated the opener until Alcaraz converted a break point for a 5-3 lead which he backed-up with a love service game.
Medvedev had his only break point snuffed out in the second game of the second set and US Open champion Alcaraz pounced again in the third on his way to a convincing lead.
Alcaraz was a break to the good for a 2-0 lead in the third set before four further successive breaks gave the finale a sloppy appearance.
The Spaniard, however, steadied himself, moving into his first Wimbledon final with a spectacular running forehand, his 27th winner of the match.
“It’s really difficult to close the match, you have to be really focused against Daniil, he fought to the last moment,” said Alcaraz.
“He is an amazing fighter, runner, player. I had to show my best in the tough moments and play aggressive. I had to be myself and that was the key to close that match.”
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