Novak Djokovic v Carlos Alcaraz For The Wimbledon Title, Who’s The Pick?
Well, the dream final is set at Wimbledon!
The final match-up is no big surprise given how things have gone the last few months in the men’s game. Other than Alcaraz and Djokovic in Paris, no one has really stepped up on the big stage in any meaningful way or consistent way.
Both Daniil Medvedev and Jannik Sinner benefited from easy draws to get to the semifinals and that got exposed. Wins are nice but quality wins do count, and having none didn’t help them any on Friday as the two combined for zero sets and zero suspense in two blow outs.
Medvedev couldn’t find answer to the quick-paced power game of Alcaraz. The Russian tried moving up and moving back. But nothing worked as Medvedev’s loopy strokes couldn’t make a dent on Alcaraz who teed off when he wasn’t at the net putting the ball away.
Sinner had early chances and later on he had set points, but in between it was all Novak who was too steady and solid, and never dropped serve in the match.
So with little opposition leading up — two sets lost each — it will be Djokovic and Alcaraz for the title.
Novak Djokovic v Carlos Alcaraz
Priorities. We know what Djokovic’s are. At age 36, he’s built to win Grand Slam.
“It’s no secret that Grand Slams are the highest priority for me, the highest goals on my priority list,” Djokovic said Friday. “Every time I start the season, I want to peak at these four tournaments. I try to organize my schedule, training schedule, and my preparation weeks, and all the tournaments, according to these priorities.”
But what are Alcaraz’s? Would he lose sleep not winning Sunday? Would he be content with a final?
With all that’s at stake — 24 Slams, 8 Wimbledons and 5 straight — clearly the motivation rests with Djokovic. And other than that loss at the 2021 US Open final and the Olympics, he’s been up to the challenge — hell, he even tried to fudge his way into Australia a few years ago, that’s dedication!
But time has never lost and one of these days it will come for Djokovic.
Alcaraz, on the other hand, has plenty. Just 20, he’s already made the last four on three different Slam surfaces and if not for Novak, he might be going for a Slam No. 3.
Alcaraz was the favorite in Paris, but Djokovic is the pick here. There’s no doubt about that this time.
Djokovic beat Carlos in Paris on a surface which favored the Spaniard more. On grass, big edge to Novak, but Alcaraz could still turn the tables. Why not?
Carlos has the complete game. The only holes are experience and maybe shot selection. But the way Djokovic has been playing, that might not be enough for the Serb who is so at home and so balanced on the grass.
“He’s so young, but he’s incredibly consistent now, also on grass,” Djokovic said of Alcaraz. “Which I don’t think many people expected him to play so well because his game is basically, yeah, built and constructed and developed for clay mostly or slower hard courts. But he’s been incredibly successful in adapting to the surfaces and demands and challenges of opponents on a given day.”
What I’m most interested in is what the kid learned from that tough loss in Paris. The mental and emotional side, in particular.
“I’ll do something different from the match,” said Alcaraz. “I prepare the match a little bit different from French Open. It’s going to be different for me. I hope not to get cramp during the final. I think I’ll be better on Sunday.”
But Djokovic is more than ready and sounds like he wants the challenge and relishes the challenge. He wants to take these young kids down. It’s still his generation.
“Obviously completely different conditions here. Grass is massively different from clay. Yes, I do have more experience playing in many more Grand Slam or Wimbledon finals than him. Still he’s in great shape. He’s very motivated. He’s young. He’s hungry,” Djokovic said. “I’m hungry, too, so let’s have a feast.”
The Pick: Djokovic in 5
I could honestly see the outcome could go any which way: Blowout for Novak, blowout for Alcaraz, or even a final set breaker. Regardless, it should be an incredible finish to the grass season with some exciting tennis, and if Djokovic wins, what a US Open it will be.
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