From his own relative inexperience on grass to Djokovic’s unmatched ability to cross the line in the majors, the context of Alcaraz’s victory only enhanced the 20-year-old Spaniard’s achievement. To reflect further on an all-time classic, ATPTour.com looks at five surprising aspects of Alcaraz’s 1-6, 7-6(6), 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 final victory.
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Magical Alcaraz ends Djokovic’s streak in classic, claims Wimbledon crown
1. Green on grass
A 34-match winning streak dating back to 2017, a 92-10 tournament record, unbeaten on Center Court in over 10 years: Djokovic’s Wimbledon The statistics leading up to the final painted a clear picture of the challenge facing Alcaraz. The Serb’s experience at the All England Club was in particular contrast to that of his opponent, who was competing for the third time at the All England Club. Wimbledon and in just her fourth tournament on grass at any level.
The Spaniard’s development on the surface had been evident when he triumphed at The Queen’s Club before reaching the final at SW19, but ending Djokovic’s reign on Center Court in such dramatic fashion counts as another level of achievement.
10 YEARS AND 9 DAYS 😲@carlosalcaraz he is the only man to beat Novak Djokovic on center court at Wimbledon from andy murray in 2013.Wimbledon?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@Wimbledon |Wimbledon?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#Wimbledon pic.twitter.com/cDBqfovOdu
— ATP Tour (@atptour) July 16, 2023
2. Reach the Majors
It was not just a deficit of Wimbledon experience that Alcaraz had to overcome on center court. Alcaraz was competing in just his second championship match at a Grand Slam event, after his 2022 US Open gain. Djokovic, by comparison, was playing in his 35th Grand Slam final, a tally that moved him away from former WTA star Chris Evert on the all-time list.
With Alcaraz struggling to establish himself, the Serb took a 6-1 lead to add to the pressure on his 20-year-old opponent. Before the match, Djokovic had a 15-3 record in major finals after winning the first set, which made the way Alcaraz roared to claim victory all the more impressive.
3. A quick investment of Roland Garros
Just five weeks before his Wimbledon shock, Alcaraz had become plagued with nerve-induced cramps during his Roland Garros semifinal against Djokovic. After the Spaniard admitted that occasion had caught up with him in Paris, that recent story raised pre-match questions about Alcaraz’s ability to compete against Djokovic on Center Court.
In the final, it was the 20-year-old World No. 1 who bested Djokovic, one of the toughest and most durable competitors the ATP Tour has seen, on London grass. He crucially broke the Serb in a lung-busting 27-minute game at 3-1 in the third set, and still looked in top form as he hit 18 winners to Djokovic’s three in the decider.
4. Break Novak’s tiebreaker
Djokovic’s psychological control over opponents during tiebreaks has been a key feature of his major league success in 2023. Entering the second set against Alcaraz, the 36-year-old had won 15 straight tiebreakers at Grand Slam events dating back to they go back to their second round australian open match against Enzo Couacaud in January.
The last six of those 14 breakers came during Djokovic’s match. Wimbledon he ran, but it was Alcaraz who cut the streak when he needed it most. Poised to fall two sets back at 5/6 in the second set tiebreaker, the Spaniard fended off set point before scoring three straight points to level the match and begin his run to victory.
— ATP Tour (@atptour) July 16, 2023
5. Stay alive more than five
Djokovic’s ability to pull off decisive performances on the biggest stage is renowned. Before Sunday, the Serb had won his last four Grand Slam finals in five sets, surviving Roger Federer in Wimbledon in 2014 and 2019, Dominic Thiem in 2020 australian open and Stefanos Tsitsipas in Roland Garros in 2021.
It’s unclear if Alcaraz was aware of Djokovic’s record for clinching times in the majors, but the Spaniard brought it to the 23-time major champion in style in the final set. When Djokovic hit a forehand on championship point, the 20-year-old World No. 1 became the first player to beat the Serb in a five-set final since andy murray in 2012 US Open.