‘King of the Grass’ Djokovic toppled a 20-year-old rebellion
Alcaraz wins Wimbledon tennis title
The Big Four claim the Wimbledon crown.
Djokovic gives thumbs up after five straight losses halted
“Me and Federer-Nadal have the best of both worlds”
One ‘vaccination‘ was all it took. Carlos Alcaraz (20, Spain – World No. 1) is the new “Wimbledon Emperor” after defeating Novak Djokovic (36, Serbia – No. 2).
Djokovic’s tearful Novak Djokovic saw his 34-match Wimbledon winning streak come to an end, ending his bid for the ‘calendar grand slam’ record of winning all the majors in a year.
Alcaraz defeated defending quadruple champion Djokovic 3-2 (1-6, 7-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-4) in a four-hour, 42-minute men’s singles final at the 2023 Wimbledon tennis tournament on Sunday at the All England Club Center Court near London, England. It was Alcaraz’s second career major title after winning the US Open last year. Djokovic, who narrowly missed out on his fifth consecutive title, will have to wait until next year to tie the record for most men’s singles titles at the event (eight).
Alcaraz met Djokovic for the first time in a major 38 days earlier on March 9 in the quarterfinals of the French Open, losing 1-3. Alcaraz was suffering from full-body cramps at the time and dropped both the third and fourth sets 1-6. “I’ve never been so nervous in my life,” he recalled. The nightmare seemed to repeat itself as he dropped the first set 1-6 in 34 minutes.
However, he turned things around by taking the second set in a tiebreak. Prior to this match, Djokovic had won 15 straight tiebreaks. In the fifth game of the third set, Alcaraz showed off his concentration to break Djokovic’s serve after 13 deuces. “I’m a completely different player now than I was at the French Open. I’ve grown a lot. I handle pressure and nerves much better now,” he said. Whenever he sat down on the players’ bench between matches, he lined up water bottles in a row, just like his idol Rafael Nadal (37-Spain-136th) does, to keep himself calm.
The venue could also be a factor for Alcaraz. Djokovic holds the record for the longest winning streak on center court. Djokovic was on a 45-match winning streak on this court when he lost to Andy Murray (36th-Britain-40th) in the 2013 final. “To beat a player who hasn’t lost here in 10 years is unforgettable,” Alcaraz said. I think the younger generation of players saw me beat Djokovic and felt they could do it too,” he said.
Since Roger Federer (42-Swiss-Retired) won his first Wimbledon title in 2003, the tournament’s men’s singles championship has always belonged to the men’s tennis “big four” – Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray – until last year. At the time of the 2003 final, Alcaraz was just 62 days old. Furthermore, until last year, Alcaraz had only played a total of six matches (four wins and two losses) on grass-court tournaments like Wimbledon. Djokovic, on the other hand, has the second-highest career grass-court winning percentage (85.8%) in ATP history, behind only Federer (86.9%).
“I thought he was only tricky on clay and hard courts, not so much on grass,” Djokovic joked, before giving him a thumbs-up for his adaptability, “He’s so adaptable.” He continued, “He’s a combination of Federer, Nadal and myself. His mental toughness and incredible defense are reminiscent of Nadal. The sharp backhand slice is similar to mine. The two-handed backhand has been a longtime strength of mine, and Alcaraz has this weapon as well.” “I’ve never seen a player like him. Even Nadal and Federer have their weaknesses, but Alcaraz is perfect,” he continued.
“I’m surprised that Djokovic said that,” Alcaraz said. But it’s Djokovic, so it’s probably true,” he laughed, then said, “I’m just the same Alcaraz.” Alcaraz, who made a name for himself with a 2-1 win over Djokovic at last year’s Madrid Open, now leads the head-to-head series 2-1.
“For my sake, I hope it (the old and new rivalry) lasts for a long time,” Djokovic said. “We’ve only played three times and all three matches were intense, 고스톱 so hopefully we’ll meet at the U.S. Open (which starts next month on Aug. 28).”