World number 1 Carlos Alcaraz has admitted his father – Carlos Alcaraz Snr – ‘probably’ filmed Novak Djokovic’s training session over the weekend, but insisted he did not benefit from the footage .
An unexpected row of ‘spygates’ has developed at Wimbledon following frustrated comments from Djokovic, who expressed his annoyance at the lack of privacy at the practice facility known as Aorangi Park.
The incident was revealed during Djokovic’s Serbian-language press conference on Tuesday evening. Asked about the alleged shooting, the defending champion replied: “The circumstances are such that we have no privacy in training, although sometimes I would like to have more privacy. Then it gives me more opportunities to try certain things, to communicate more clearly with my team.
“The thing is, you’re 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, assessed and evaluated.
“This, through certain analyses, affects the eventual meeting with Alcaraz or whoever. Concentration is required. For me, training is like a game. I also bring this intensity to training.
Speaking last night after a comfortable quarter-final win over Denmark’s Holger Rune, Alcaraz suggested his father’s actions stemmed from his insatiable appetite for tennis, rather than any attempt at subterfuge.
“That’s probably true,” Alcaraz said. “My father is a big tennis fan. He doesn’t just watch my games. I think he comes into the club at 11 a.m., leaves at 10 p.m., watches the games, watches everyone’s training.
“To be able to watch Djokovic in real life, yes, it’s probably true that he films the sessions.”
But when asked if he could benefit from his father’s actions, Alcaraz seemed surprised by the very idea. “I don’t think so,” he replied. “I mean, I have a lot of Djokovic videos on all platforms. I think that’s not an advantage for me.
There are 18 training grounds at Aorangi Park, laid out in terraces on the side of a hill, making it an excellent viewing platform for anyone who wants to watch training sessions.
Djokovic also hinted that it’s possible to infer a player’s state of mind from their training sessions. “Sometimes the atmosphere is more relaxed if I’m feeling better, more tense if I’m feeling bad,” he said. “The main thing is that you don’t want to give your opponents the impression that you are weak, that you are nervous… The fact is that we are all very focused.”
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