At Wimbledon on July 16, the greatest of all time battled the future of the sport once again when Novak Djokovic faced off against Carlos Alcaraz in the men’s final. This time, however, youth prevailed, as Alcaraz got the better of Djokovic in a back-and-forth five-set marathon (1-6, 7-6 [8-6], 6-1, 3-6, 6-4).
36-year-old Novak Djokovic 🤝 20-year-old Carlos Alcaraz
— ESPN (@espn) July 16, 2023
While Alcaraz was ranked No. 1, the youngest person to earn that title after last year’s win at the US Open, Djokovic was still favored to secure his fifth straight championship at Wimbledon. A victory against Alcaraz would have given Djokovic his 24th major win, tying his total with Margaret Court for the most in tennis history, all while getting him a step closer to a calendar Grand Slam.
Djokovic seemed to be on that path with a dominant first set, but Alcaraz bounced back in the second. Djokovic missed some glaring opportunities in the tiebreak that allowed Alcaraz to get to set point and pull off a stunning backhand return winner. The Spaniard built on that momentum in the third set, putting pressure on Djokovic in the fourth.
But, as he has done so many times before, Djokovic stayed cool, calm, and collected. Down 2-1 in games, the winningest men’s player in history won three consecutive games. He later forced the all-important fifth and final set.
Just like the rest of the match, the fifth set was filled with unbelievable rallies and shots. Alcaraz utilized his sneaky drop shot and power to perfection, and Djokovic’s accuracy and mental toughness continued to be on full display. Chants for each player broke out after impressive points, and the energy seemed to be pouring out of Centre Court.
In the end, Alcaraz had the opportunity to serve for the championship, and he did. On match point, Alcaraz blazed his serve at Djokovic who did all he could to just get it back across. Alcaraz then put all his strength into a forehand for which Djokovic stretched but just couldn’t get enough on.
Alcaraz tumbled to the grass with his hands over his face, the reality setting in that he was a Wimbledon champion. The competitors eventually made their way to the net, both with smiles on their faces. They understood the magnitude of the show they just put on for the fans in attendance and around the world.
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 16, 2023
The four-hour, 42-minute final was the third-longest in Wimbledon history. It will undoubtedly be remembered for a long time.
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