- Djokovic comes out on top in thriller
- Alcaraz looks to retain title at Flushing Meadows
- Djokovic chases Slam number 24 at US Open
Novak Djokovic turned the tables on his Wimbledon final loss to Carlos Alcaraz by clinching victory against the Spaniard in a thrilling Cincinnati Open final. The Serbian player managed to survive a match point in the second set, ultimately prevailing with a scoreline of 5-7, 7-6 (9-7), 7-6 (7-4).
Alcaraz retains Number 1 spot despite defeat
In their previous encounter, Alcaraz, the top seed, had defeated Djokovic in a five-set Wimbledon final. Reflecting on his recent win, Djokovic expressed that his experience on the court against Alcaraz reminded him of his prime matches against Rafael Nadal. He remarked on the intensity of the match, comparing it to his 2012 Australian Open final win over Nadal that lasted almost six hours.
Mutual respect between top two after thriller
Djokovic shared his appreciation for the competitive nature of the game, where every point was hard-earned and required immense effort. Despite the loss, Alcaraz would retain his world number one ranking for the upcoming US Open title defence. However, Djokovic had the chance to regain the top spot if he managed to win just one match at Flushing Meadows.
The match itself was described as a battle, with both players giving their all on the court. Alcaraz, a 20-year-old rising star, was emotional after the defeat but expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to learn from Djokovic and praised his opponent’s champion mentality.
The match went down to the wire, with Alcaraz saving multiple match points and even breaking Djokovic’s serve to level the third set. Djokovic managed to clinch the victory in a tie-break, claiming his 39th ATP Masters 1000 title and making history with the longest best-of-three-sets final in ATP Tour history, lasting three hours and 49 minutes.
Djokovic highlighted the remarkable poise displayed by Alcaraz, especially given his young age, and commended his ability to handle pressure. Both players now head to the US Open, with Alcaraz aiming to defend a Grand Slam title for the first time and Djokovic seeking his 24th Grand Slam victory. Djokovic’s return to the US Open was particularly significant since he missed the previous year’s tournament due to his Covid vaccination status. Djokovic’s victory at the French Open marked his 23rd Grand Slam title, moving him ahead of Nadal in the all-time men’s major list. Alcaraz, who he defeated in the semi-finals at Roland Garros, denied the serb a 24th Grand Slam with victory at Wimbledon.
Bettors who are looking to wager on the US Open will see that the top two in the men’s game are in top form heading into the tournament.