Alcaraz Ascends To Wimbledon Title, Dethrones Djokovic In 5 Set Thriller

by Staff | July 16th, 2023, 5:38 pm

Carlos Alcaraz continued his climb to tennis greatness taking down the near-unbeatable Novak Djokovic in a 5-set thriller 1-6, 7-6(6), 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 to become Wimbledon champion.

“Feels great,” Alcaraz said after the 4 hour, 42 minute win. “It’s a dream come true for me, being a Wimbledon champion, something that I really wanted. Honestly, I didn’t expect to get it really soon. Yeah, it’s time to enjoy and share everything, all my feelings.

“Is the happiest moment of my life, that’s for sure. Probably in five years will change. Right now, I’m 20, I didn’t live too many situations like this, so I’m going to enjoy this moment,” he said.

“Making history that I did today, it’s, yeah, the happiest moment of my life. I think it’s not going to change for a long time. Yeah, like beating Novak, winning Wimbledon championship is something that I dream about since I start to playing tennis. That’s why is the biggest moment of my life.”

Just 20, Alcaraz becomes the youngest champion at Wimbledon since Boris Becker won it at age 18 in 1986. And he ended a host of streaks the favorite Djokovic had going.

“I’ve won some epic finals that I was very close to losing. Maybe this is kind of a fair-and-square deal I guess to lose a match like this for me here. Even though it hurts, it’s never easy to lose a close match,” Djokovic said who had his 45-match Centre Court win streak snapped along with 27 straight in Slams and 34 in a row at Wimbledon.

“Credit to Carlos. Amazing poise in the important moments. For someone of his age to handle the nerves like this, be playing attacking tennis, and to close out the match the way he did.

“I thought I returned very well that last game, but he was just coming up with some amazing, amazing shots.”

Early on, it looked like Djokovic was on his way to an all-time record-tying 24th Major. The Serb saved early break points then ran away with the first set 6-1.

Alcaraz settled into his game in the second. He changed tactic to a more conservative, almost Djokovic-like approach and it paid off. The two would trade breaks early but leading 6-5 in the breaker, Djokovic blinked missing two backhands.

Alcaraz would level ending Djokovic’s tiebreaker run in Slams at 15.

Djokovic would get broken to start the third giving Alcaraz full control. Ten minutes earlier Djokovic was inches from a two set lead. Now he had split sets and was down a break. Momentum was gone and possibly the match.

Things got even worse for the 7-time Wimbledon champion. Down 3-1, Djokovic and Alcaraz played an epic 27-minute game. Djokovic failed to convert some eight game points with Alcaraz coming through on his 7th to grab a devastating second break. A deflated Djokovic would drop eight of the next 10 points in a flash to go down two sets to one.

He would need yet another comeback against a youngster, something he had done at the French Open and the Australian before.

Djokovic left the court to regroup and once again it worked. He broke for 3-2 and held on to force a fifth. He was moving better, playing better and finally getting easy points on his serve.

The decider saw Djokovic immediately save a break point and then he had his own sitter smash at the net to give him a 2-0 lead. But he made a mess of it.

Alcaraz held and then rolled, calmly connecting on all six first serves to close out his second Grand Slam title.

“It was tough first set, honestly,” Alcaraz said. “But I felt that was playing great, was playing a good level. I had chances to break his serve or I was close to break his serve. I couldn’t take it. It’s a problem when you don’t take the opportunities against a legend like Novak. You have to struggle.

“But in the second set I knew that I was going to have my chances. I had to be focused. I had to stay there and waiting for my chance to be up or to be close on the score.

“After win the second set, it was really good for me ’cause if I would have lost that set, probably I couldn’t lift the trophy. I probably could have lost in three sets, straight sets.

“I would say that gave me a lot of confidence, a lot of motivation to still going and to think that I’m able to win Novak in that stage.”

Djokovic will rue those missed chances in the second set breaker.

“I would say tiebreak in the second,” Djokovic said. “The backhands kind of let me down, to be honest. Set point, I missed the backhand. He did play a backhand that was quite long in the court, had a little bit of a bad bounce. But I should not have missed that shot.

“Then on 6-All, again, another backhand from middle of the court in the net. Just two very poor backhands. That’s it. The match shifted to his side. It turned around. He just raised his level so much in the third. I wasn’t myself for quite some time.”

And that missed smash for a break early in the fifth.

“That was my chance,” Djokovic said of the forehand volley that fell in the net. “That was my opportunity. That break point, I think I played a really good point, kind of set up that drive volley.

“It was very, very windy today. The wind kind of, yeah, took it to an awkward place where I couldn’t hit the smash, I had to hit the drive volley kind of falling back. I saw him perfectly running to the opposite corner. I kind of wanted to wrong-foot him with that drive volley, and I missed. Obviously he made a break the next game, which was obviously enough to hold the serve till the end.”

Among other things, Alcaraz improves to 9-1 in five set matches and he’s 2-0 in Grand Slam finals. He’s also 2-1 against Djokovic avenging a loss from Paris.

“I am totally different player than French Open. I grew up a lot since that moment. I learned a lot from that moment,” Alcaraz said.

“As I said before the final, I took lesson from that match. I did something different before the match. I prepared a little bit different mentally before the match. I could deal with the pressure, the nerves, better than I did in French Open.

“Obviously on grass is different than on clay. But I’m really happy to be able to stay there. Didn’t get down, didn’t give up. I fought until the last ball. Every ball, I think we made great rallies, great points. It was long, long match, long sets.

“I think was the mental part that allow me to stay there during the five sets.”

Djokovic commended Alcaraz on how quickly he’s improved his game on grass.

“I must say the slices, the kind of chipping returns, the net play, it’s very impressive,” Djokovic said of Alcaraz. “I didn’t expect him to play so well this year on grass, but he’s proven that he’s the best player in the world, no doubt.

“He’s playing some fantastic tennis on different surfaces and he deserves to be where he is.”

Alcaraz will now go into the hard courts on a roll and as the defending US Open champion, and the man to beat.

“Probably before this match, I thought that I wasn’t ready to beat Djokovic in five sets, an epic match like this,” Alcaraz said. “Stay good physically or good mentally about five hours against a legend, probably I learned today about myself today.”

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11 Comments for Alcaraz Ascends To Wimbledon Title, Dethrones Djokovic In 5 Set Thriller

SG1 Says:

Great win for Carlos. Held his nerve after a rocky start and played his game. I don’t think his ability to beat Djokovic was in doubt but more his mental outlook. He clearly learned a lot from his FO experience and hung in there.

What can you say about Novak. He’s right there in every major. you can’t win’em all, even if you’re the GOAT. He nailed it in the interview. He may have won a Wimbledon that he shouldn’t have so the breaks cut both ways eventually. I think Alcaraz’s power was the difference. He’s one of the few players that can take away Novak’s time. We’ve seen Stan do that to Novak too. If you can hit a really big ball and keep it in play, you have a chance to beat Novak. Very few have that ability and even fewer have the ability to pull it off in a slam final.

I hope we see this match up again at the USO. With the weight of the calendar slam no longer in play, Novak should be more relaxed. It’s also a chance for him to take from Carlos what Carlos took from him at Wimbledon.

Lylenubbins Says:

Two class acts. What a match. See how Nole’s motivation is going forward…

zed Says:

SG1, I agree with you, the pressure-release from this match will be good for Novak. Whilst I am not confident about the USO for Novak (I’m thinking 50/50 is ambitious, maybe 30/70 is closer) I am confident that he has at least one or two more slams in him.

If he finishes with 25 that’ll be pretty awesome and more than that would be truly astounding.

Giles Says:

What a player! What a match! What a Champion!
Well done Carlos my boy. Many many congratulations beating the CHEAT!
Where are the 2 clowns Bog Boy and ZYZ? Bog Boy is hiding for sure! Lololol

SG1 Says:

Bashing Novak as a cheater is senseless. Blame the ATP for allowing it, not Novak for using it. A great player uses every opportunity to their advantage.

Novak isn’t anymore a cheater than anyone else. He simply isn’t as likeable as Roger and Rafa (and even Alcaraz), but he deserves his props.

Tenisbebe Says:

Well done Carlos!!What an incredibly physical match from both players.

Okiegal Says:

Another dramatic move by Novak again! He blew a kiss to a Spanish fan who was cheering for Carlos. What mature father of two children would pay any attention to the crowd and act out?? He needs to come to the realization that he is not liked by EVERY fan. I am not sure why he got all bombed out about it because a lot of his fans were yelling his name. He needs to grow up.

Madmax Says:

SG1 Says:
Bashing Novak as a cheater is senseless. Blame the ATP for allowing it, not Novak for using it. A great player uses every opportunity to their advantage.

Novak isn’t anymore a cheater than anyone else. He simply isn’t as likeable as Roger and Rafa (and even Alcaraz), but he deserves his props.

July 16th, 2023 at 9:47 pm

Perfect response.


Don’t you think in the heat of the moment, the pressure he was under, eighth grand slam equalising Roger’s, another final at Wimby, World No. 1. Everything on the line and yes, we know that Novak under pressure, is *usually* unbeatable.

Give him a pass. :-)

A lot on the line on Sunday.

How are you Oki? And is Rafa on his farewell tour next year?

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