Top-ranked men’s tennis player Carlos Alcaraz admitted Wednesday that his father likely was filming defending Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic during a training session this week, as was alleged by Serbian media, but he said the intentions behind the recordings weren’t malicious.
Serbian news broadcaster B92 reported this week that Alcaraz and his team, which included his father, were present during one of Djokovic’s training sessions on Monday. According to the report, Alcaraz’s father began filming.
“That's the situation we are all in, the circumstances are such that we don't have privacy in training, although sometimes I would like to have more privacy,” Djokovic said in response, according to the outlet.
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“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 tomorrow.”
Alcaraz was questioned about the report during his quarterfinal press conference.
He seemingly confirmed it but clarified that the intentions behind filming Djokovic were nothing more than admiration.
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“Probably, it is true. My father is a huge fan of tennis. He doesn’t only watch my matches. I think he gets into the club at 11 a.m. and gets out at 10 p.m., watching matches, watching practice from everyone.”
He continued, “Being able to watch Djokovic in real life, yeah, probably it is true he’s filmed the sessions.”
Alcaraz denied gaining any sort of competitive advantage from the recordings, saying he’s seen “a lot of videos from Djokovic on every platform.”
The practice courts at Wimbledon are accessible to reporters and a limited number of fans. Players also practice on adjacent courts that have no walls or barriers between them.
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Alcaraz is one match away from potentially playing Djokovic in the Wimbledon final, but first he’ll face Daniil Medvedev on Friday, who is playing in his first semifinal match at the All England Club.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.