HOWARD FENDRICH, Associated Press
WIMBLEDON, England – Carlos Alcaraz has said he wants to beat Novak Djokovic one more time. Said it would make winning Wimbledon more special. Well, Alcaraz got the chance to face Djokovic. And he beat him.
Alcaraz put off a poor start and rushed forward to snap Djokovic’s 34-match winning streak at the All England Club, beating him 1-6, 7-6(6), 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 to a thrilling final in Sunday, who won his first Wimbledon title and second Grand Slam trophy overall.
First-placed Alcaraz prevented Djokovic from capturing an eighth and fifth consecutive title at the grass court tournament. Djokovic was also not allowed to claim the 24th place in his career.
Instead of 36-year-old Djokovic from Serbia, who became the oldest Wimbledon men’s champion in the Open Era, the third among the youngest was 20-year-old Alcaraz from Spain. The age difference between the two was the largest in the men’s Slam finals since 1974.
So there were young people on Alcaraz’s side, which, of course, was also the case during their meeting at the French Open last month. It was extraordinary for two sets before Alcaraz shrunk and disappeared. This time he had enough stamina and punches to get past Djokovic.
Alcaraz is faster and capable of more power – serving at 130 mph, forehand at 100 mph – but Djokovic is blessed with a lot of talent and huge muscle memory. He was there and did it in ways that Alcaraz can only dream of so far.
But if this victory on a windy and overcast day on Center Court, where Djokovic last lost in the 2013 final, was any sign that Alcaraz is on his way to great success himself.
However, all of this is relatively new to him: Djokovic’s record-breaking 35th Grand Slam final was Alcaraz’s second.
However, it was Alcaraz who won the 32-point, 25-minute mini-masterpiece of the game en route to the third set. And it was Alcaraz who took the lead for good, taking a 2-1 lead in the fifth with a winning pass from the left. Djokovic, who fell during the point play but quickly rebounded, responded by hitting the net with his racket, releasing the shot. He destroyed his equipment and received a code violation from Chair Judge Fergus Murphy.
They played another 24 minutes, bringing the total game time to over 4.5 hours, but Alcaraz never gave up, never gave up. And it was Alcaraz, not Djokovic, who got the trophy in the evening.
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