Novak Djokovic gets revenge over Carlos Alcaraz in ‘crazy match’
Novak Djokovic has avenged his Wimbledon defeat to Carlos Alcaraz in a match that he claims is ‘one of the toughest’ of his career.
Djokovic beat the Spaniard, 5-7 7-6(7) 7-6(4), to win his third Cincinnati Masters crown and a 39th Masters 1000 title.
The 3 hour and 50 minute contest was very back-and-forth, with Djokovic struggling with the heat during the first set-and-a-half, leaving him 7-5 4-2 down.
The Serb called a physio and took some medication that appeared to help him cope with the 35 degree heat, but still had to save a championship point at 6-5 down in the tie-break.
Djokovic has reflected on the dramatic contest, “It’s a crazy match that we’ve been through today. A rollercoaster of a match. I don’t think I’ve played too many matches like this in my life.”
He continued, “Maybe I can compare it to [playing Rafael] Nadal at the 2012 Australian Open that went the distance. Obviously, three sets today, but almost four hours. One of the most exciting and toughest mentally, emotionally, physically matches that I’ve ever had in my career.
“You just have to put your hats down to a guy like that, who plays so maturely, handles the pressure so well for a 20-year-old. We cannot forget how young he is. That’s something that is so impressive about him.”
Djokovic saved a championship point in the second set, but it was Alcaraz who came from 5-3 down in the decider and saved four match points in the process to force a tie-break.
The 23-time Grand Slam champion revealed that Alcaraz’s fighting spirit no longer surprises him, “It doesn’t surprise me anymore. It was surprising to me at the end of last year or the beginning of this year. What he was doing, the way he won big matches, big tournaments. So impressive.”
Alcaraz was incredibly emotional after the match after ‘leaving everything on court’, “I feel proud of myself. I don’t know why I was crying because I fought until the last ball. I almost beat one of the greatest of all time from our sport.”
The 20-year-old added, “I left everything on the court. For me, it’s great that he knows that every time he’s going to play against me, it reminds him of playing against Rafa or against the best ones because that means we (my team) are on a good path.”
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) August 21, 2023
With Djokovic winning his 95th career title, he moves to within 20 points of the No.1 ranking and now knows that he only has to win one match at the US Open to regain the top spot.
Novak Djokovic vs Carlos Alcaraz head-to-head
Djokovic and Alcaraz appears to be the new big rivalry in tennis, and we at Tennishead want to relive their four fantastic meetings so far:
Djokovic vs Alcaraz: 2-2
- Alcaraz beat Djokovic, 6(5)-7 7-5 7-6(5) (Madrid Masters Semi-final 2022)
- Djokovic beat Alcaraz, 6-3 5-7 6-1 6-1 (Roland Garros Semi-final 2023)
- Alcaraz beat Djokovic, 1-6 7-6(6) 6-1 3-6 6-4 (Wimbledon Final 2023)
- Djokovic beat Alcaraz, 5-7 7-6(7) 7-6(4) (Cincinnati Masters Final 2023)
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