John McEnroe has warned Carlos Alcaraz that he needs to keep his emotions in check ahead of a blockbuster Wimbledon final against Novak Djokovic.
The pair contested the French Open semi-final, but the young Spaniard suffered from cramp which he claimed was caused by nerves in Paris.
McEnroe has tipped Alcaraz to have the talent to beat Djokovic, but the mental side of the game needs to be on top form in addition to it.
“Alcaraz to me, unlike the other players and anyone else in the draw, if he executes at the level we have seen of him and the level he’s capable of – I don’t think he has got to change anything,” he told the BBC. “This is all about how he’s got to handle things mentally and emotionally, which he froze up and cramped up at the French.
“You know that’s going to be in his head a little bit that he doesn’t want the same thing to happen, obviously I am not sure what the conditions are supposed to be on Sunday and how hot it is but my guess is not very, so that should be more of a non-issue.
“It’s going to be again playing the great Novak Djokovic with high expectations, how are they going to deal with that any differently than the French Open because clearly that affected him. The second set at the French Open was one of the best sets of tennis I ever saw, and we were sitting there thinking ‘We are going to watch this for another couple of hours’, but all of a sudden it was over five minutes later.
“Hopefully the outcome will be different in that regard. I don’t know why [Alcaraz cramped up], I am not 100 per cent sure the Alcaraz camp knows why. To me a lot of it was the nerves, the nerves just freaked him out and then the body seizes up and all of a sudden you’re cramping. It’s the worst feeling in the world, particularly in a middle of a match and you’re playing a guy like Djokovic.
“They have been thinking about it the moment it happened, they got him back on the court perhaps a bit sooner than people expected. So he is feeling a whole lot better about himself, so I suspect they have learned something and prepared as diligently as possible to make sure if it was fluids, that they will have that all under control.”