The battle between the “next great tennis ace” and a “living legend” ended in victory for Carlos “Young Gun” Alcaraz (20, Spain, World No. 1).

Alcaraz defeated Novak Djokovic, 36, Serbia, World No. 2, 3-2 (1-6 7-6<8-6> 6-1 3-6 6-4) in the men’s singles final of the 2023 Wimbledon Tennis Championships at the All England Club Center Court in Wimbledon, London, England, on Saturday (July 16).

It was Alcaraz’s second career Grand Slam title after winning the US Open last year. He also lifted the trophy for the first time at Wimbledon. He became only the fifth male player to win two or more majors before turning 21 since the Open Era began in 1968.

Alcaraz, who missed the Australian Open in January due to injury, faced Djokovic in the semifinals of the French Open at Roland Garros last month. At 1-1 in the set, an unexpected cramp brought him down. He then dropped the next three and four sets to fall short of reaching the final.

Alcaraz’s reunion with Djokovic in this Wimbledon final got off to a shaky start. He was not at his best in the first set, taking just one game. However, he came alive in the second set and broke down the ‘big man’ to become this year’s Wimbledon champion.

Having conquered Wimbledon, Alcaraz won his sixth title of the year. He is now on a season-long winning streak, and his victory over Djokovic cemented his status as the ‘best player alive’.

Djokovic is in the Wimbledon final for the ninth time. Roger Federer (42, Switzerland) has reached the men’s singles final of the tournament more times (12). Djokovic reached his first final in 2011, defeating Rafael Nadal (37, Spain) for his first title. He reached the final again in 2013, but had to settle for a runner-up finish after losing to Andy Murray (36, Great Britain, World No. 40).

In 2014 and 2015, however, he won back-to-back titles. In 2018, 2019, 2021 and last year, he won four consecutive titles. The 2020 tournament was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year, Djokovic reached the final for the fifth time in a row. The only other men to win five consecutive Wimbledon titles are “tennis legends” Björn Borg (Sweden, 2976-1980) and Roger Federer (Switzerland, 2003-2007). He also tied Federer as the most decorated Wimbledon men’s singles champion of all time (eight times).

Djokovic, who was on the verge of breaking a long list of records, was unable to stop the momentum of the ‘Rising Sun’. He dropped two sets in tiebreaks and lost his service game in the fifth game of the third set after 13 deuces.

Alcaraz is now 2-1 in his career against Djokovic. They first met in the semifinals of the ATP Tour Madrid Open last May, where Alcaraz came from behind to win 2-1. However, in the semifinals of the French Open last month, Djokovic won 3-1.

In this year’s Wimbledon final, Alcaraz defeated Djokovic in a tight full-set match.

Notably, Djokovic hasn’t lost a Wimbledon final since losing to Murray in the 2013 men’s singles final. Alcaraz shattered Djokovic’s “Wimbledon final myth” and ushered in a new era.

Djokovic broke first at 1-0 in the first set. He held his next service game to extend his lead to 3-0. Alcaraz looked nervous and made a series of unforced errors in the early stages of the match, losing the groundstroke battle and failing to capitalize on his long forehand and serve.

Djokovic pounced on the shaky Alcaraz and easily took the first set 6-1.

In the second set, however, Alcaraz made a different move: his quick feet came alive and his attack and defense became more solid. After getting the first break at 1-0, Alcaraz looked to be in control of the match, but Djokovic broke back to level the score at 2-2 and the pair battled back to hold serve.

The second set went to a 6-6 tiebreak. Djokovic has won all six tiebreaks in this tournament. At the start of the tiebreak, Djokovic raced to a 3-0 lead with back-to-back points, but Alcaraz quickly broke back to level at 3-3. At 4-4, he hit an exquisite drop shot to take a 5-4 lead.

Djokovic, who rarely falters in tiebreaks, made a costly backhand error in this situation. At 7-6, Alcaraz put the brakes on Djokovic’s ‘tiebreak unbeaten streak’ with a picture-perfect backhand return.

With momentum on his side, Alcaraz took a 3-1 lead in the third set. The fifth game, in which Djokovic held serve, lasted over 26 minutes. As befits a world-class player, the two battled back and forth, and deuces were exchanged 13 times.

With a seventh break opportunity, Alcaraz finally broke his opponent’s serve and roared.

Alcaraz turned the tide, taking the third set 6-1.

But Djokovic, who had been through the wringer, would not go down easily. At 2-2 in the fourth set, he broke his opponent’s serve to turn the tide. He held his next service game to go up 4-2. Unlike in the second and third sets, Alcaraz made a series of unforced errors in crucial situations.

With Djokovic leading 5-3, Alcaraz made a crucial double fault. Djokovic took the fourth set 6-3 and pushed the match to the final five games 토토꽁포인트.

At 1-1 in the fifth set, Alcaraz shut down Djokovic’s attacks from all corners of the court. In the final set, Alcaraz showed no signs of slowing down and was quick on his feet. Unable to break through Alcaraz’s defense, Djokovic made a series of unforced errors and eventually lost his service game.

After conceding the break, Djokovic, who had long displayed a ‘steel mentality’, lost his temper and slammed his racket into the net post.

Alcaraz, who is 16 years younger than Djokovic, maintained his composure uncharacteristic of a 20-year-old and raced to a 4-2 lead.

Djokovic fought back to 4-5 but could not overcome the one break he conceded in the final set. Alcaraz calmly held serve in the 10th game to end the four-hour, 43-minute epic.

Alcaraz had nine service aces to Djokovic’s two. Djokovic won 64% of his first serves, compared to 63% for Alcaraz. In the winners’ battle, Alcaraz had 66 to Djokovic’s 32, and in unforced errors, Djokovic had 40 to Alcaraz’s 45.

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