(July 16, 2023) No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz stopped four-time defending champion Novak Djokovic in the final of Wimbledon on Sunday 1-6, 7-6(6), 6-1, 3-6, 6-4. It’s the Spaniard’s first Wimbledon title and second major trophy. He won the U.S. Open in 2022. The 20-year-old, the third youngest Wimbledon men’s winner, is just the second player to beat the Serbian in a five set major final. The first one was Andy Murray in the 2012 U. S. Open final. Alcaraz is the first player since Tomas Berdych to beat the all-time major leader in men’s tennis since 2017. The last time that Djokovic had lost on Centre Court was in the 2013 final, some 45 matches ago.
The 36-year-old Serbian was attempting to win his fifth Wimbledon in a row, for his 24th major which would have tied him for the overall lead with Margaret Court.
“Playing a final against a legend of our sport, for me, it’s incredible,” said Alcaraz of the four-hour and 42 -minute match. This was only the Spaniard’s fourth grass court tournament of his career.
“I have to congratulate Novak. It’s amazing to play against him. What can I say about him? It’s unbelievable. You inspire me a lot. I started playing tennis watching you,” Alcaraz said during the trophy presentation. “I mean, since I was born, you already were winning tournaments.”
A tearful Djokovic congratulated his opponent on court:
“You never like to lose matches like this,”he said. “I guess when all the emotions are settled, I have to still be very grateful because I won many, many tight and close matches in the past here.”
“I lost to a better player, so I have to congratulate him.”
“What quality in the end of the match,” Djokovic said. “You deserve it, absolutely.”
Djokovic started out of the gate quickly only dropping a game in the first set. Alcaraz kept it close in the second, edging out the Serbian in the tiebreak, saving a set point. The game of the match came in the third set, in the fifth game. The game lasted 32 points at 27 minutes which Alcaraz won to go up a double break in the 3rd set 4-1 and captured the set 6-1. Djokovic broke Alcaraz’s serve twice to capture the third set 6-3. Alcaraz broke serve in the third game of the fifth set and held on to that lead to close out the match 6-4.
“It’s a dream come true for me,” said Alcaraz. “As I said before, of course it’s great to win, but even if I had lost, I would be really proud of myself with this amazing run. Making history in this beautiful tournament, playing a final against a legend of our sport.
“It’s a dream come true to be able to play on these stages. It’s amazing for a boy, 20 years old, to reach this kind of situation really fast. I’m really, really proud of myself and the team that I have. The work we put in every day, to be able to lift this.”
“It’s really special to play in front of royalty. The Prince of Wales, King Felipe,” said Alcaraz before turning to the Spanish monarch. “I’m really proud that you are here supporting me. I played in front of you twice, I won both, so I hope you come more,” he said jokingly.
More to follow…….