Carlos Alcaraz defeats Novak Djokovic in Wimbledon finals
By The Headlines, July 16, 2023 | 09:42 PM
Carlos Alcaraz was proclaimed the new king of Wimbledon following his victory against Novak Djokovic in one of the classic grand slam finals on a riveted Centre Court.
The young Spaniard appeared to be winning as he overcame a shaky start to grab two sets to one lead, but Djokovic once again showed his amazing resiliency.
He appeared to be in control at the beginning of the fifth set, but 20-year-old Alcaraz came back to win with a score of 1-6 7-6 (6) 6-1 3-6 6-4 after four hours and 42 minutes, finally scoring a significant victory for the underdogs over the player 16 years his older.
After Djokovic's last forehand hit the net, Alcaraz sagged to the court and gave the victorious Serbian a long embrace.
The loss eliminated Djokovic's ambitions of winning the calendar Grand Slam this year and preventing him from tying Roger Federer with an eighth Wimbledon victory. However, he will undoubtedly have more chances to match Margaret Court's all-time record of 24 slam victories.
Alcaraz is the youngest male champion since Boris Becker in 1986; he was not even born when Lleyton Hewitt became the last person except Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, or Novak Djokovic to win the tournament here in 2002.
In that memorable final, which occurred 10 years and 46 games ago, the Scot was the last person to defeat Djokovic on this court.
For thirty minutes, it didn't seem like there would be a match as Alcaraz grabbed at strokes and Djokovic dismantled him, taking the first five games and then the opening set.
But the Spaniard found his footing at the start of the second set, and even though Djokovic immediately returned a break of service, Alcaraz had largely eliminated unforced errors.
Alcaraz stood with hands on hips as another break point at 1-2 was stolen away in a 29-shot rally, as Djokovic often had the answers.
The roof was open, unlike the women's final, but the wind was still howling, and the audience, which was understandably largely behind Alcaraz, was growing impatient with Djokovic for repeatedly bouncing the ball before serving.
When Djokovic surged into a 3-0 lead in the tie-break, it appeared a two-set advantage, and likely the match was close. However, it did not materialise in a close game at 4-5.
However, after two powerful serves from Alcaraz and a drop shot from Djokovic that was netted, the Spaniard was back in the match.
At 4-5 in the tie-break, umpire Fergus Murphy lost patience and awarded Djokovic a time violation, to loud applause from the audience.
Although he still won the following two points, it was rare for Djokovic to net a backhand on his set point and then do the same the next time before a return flew by him.
Djokovic retreated dejectedly to his chair, where he sat shaking his head in the direction of his box, his streak of 15 consecutive slam tie-break victories coming to an unfortunate end just as Alcaraz turned to the cheering crowd.
When Alcaraz broke serve to begin the third set and for the first time take the lead in the match, it felt even more monumental.
During a stunning 26-minute fifth game that featured 13 aces and seven break points—at 32 points, the longest in a Wimbledon men's singles final—Djokovic protested to Murphy that he wasn't allowed enough time to reach his towel at the back of the court between serves.
On the final of them, Djokovic's will gave up, and the 36-year-old started to appear noticeably less vivacious than his opponent. He effectively conceded two games before leaving the court for an extended restroom break.
When he came back, there were boos, and Alcaraz stood by, prepared to act. Both players were aware of the significance of the fourth set's opening moments, and Djokovic, who had tape on his left leg, fought back to avoid two break points.
But the Serbian has repeatedly demonstrated throughout his career that he is most dangerous when he is dejected, as this instance revealed.
The Wimbledon winning moment for the 20 year old Carlos Alcaraz. A historical day! pic.twitter.com/JIuk3Jl30U— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) July 16, 2023
Djokovic broke to lead 3-2, and the defending champion looked psychologically and physically sharp again as he set up a final. Alcaraz was punished for a straightforward volley pushed into the tramlines.
Djokovic might have won the trophy once more if he had converted an apparent easy overhead to break for 2-0, but instead, he netted it, allowing Alcaraz to break for a 2-1 advantage.
In a fit of rage, Djokovic threw his racket at the net post, breaking it and drawing more jeers. He now had another hole to climb out of.
However, this time he was unable to do so, and Alcaraz, with the finesse and bravery of a genuine champion, seize the initiative.