Carlos Alcaraz beats Novak Djokovic in 5 sets to win his second Grand Slam at Wimbledon.

Wimbledon, England – A poor start left Carlos Alcaraz one point from a two-set hole against Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon final.

That kind of deficit is daunting for anyone, let alone a 20-year-old in his second final, and against anyone, let alone Djokovic, someone who hasn’t lost on center court in a decade, someone who’s chasing a fifth consecutive championship. , and recording an eighth record overall, at the All England Club. Someone who won his first two Grand Slam tournaments of the year and 23 during his career.

Ah, but last year’s US Open champion Alcaraz wanted that shot on Djokovic, someone he called “a legend of our sport.” He said it would make winning Wimbledon even more special. And so Alcaraz managed to emerge in that tiebreaker as choruses of “Car-los! Car-los!” Hence Alcaraz’s 32-point, 25-minute masterpiece shortly thereafter, and more importantly, the Spaniard came in the crucible of Group E as well.

Add it all up, and the No. 1 seed, Alcaraz, established himself as the superstar people expected, turning potential into victory and ending Djokovic’s 34-match winning streak at the All England Club. He pounced on him by defeating him 1-6, 7-6(6), 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 in a passionate back-and-forth final on Sunday. Alcaraz achieved his first Wimbledon title and second Grand Slam title overall.

“I didn’t give up, I didn’t give up,” said Alcaraz, the third-youngest man to win a major grass court championship in the open era, which began in 1968, after Boris Becker and Bjorn Borg. “We made great rallies, great points. It was a long, long game. Long sets. It was the mental part that allowed me to stay there.”

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“I’ve never played a player like him,” said Djokovic, a statement from a man who has competed against Federer and Nadal for a long time and in many great matches.

“He has proven that he is the best player in the world, without a doubt,” said Djokovic.

And the 36-year-old age difference between Alcaraz and Djokovic, who wiped away tears during the trophy ceremony, was the widest in any men’s tournament final since 1974.

So Alcaraz had a youngster on his side, which he did, of course, when they met in the semi-finals of the French Open last month. That set was unusual for two sets before the Alcaraz narrowed down and faded away. This time, he had the stamina and strokes to outpace Djokovic – and the belief that he could win.

After Alcaraz made nine unforced errors in the first set to Djokovic’s two, showing signs of his nerves in Paris, things started to turn around on Sunday. At 4-all in the second set, Djokovic slid on a worn-out patch behind the baseline under the royal box, and threw his racket wide as it fell. At the next changeup, Djokovic flexed one leg by bending it over the other, then placed his left heel on the net for further stretching.

They’ll head to a tiebreaker, Djokovic’s dominance: He’s won all six Wimbledon semi-finals, and 15 consecutive Grand Slam tournaments.

Djokovic led 6-5 after being unfazed by a warning from chief referee Fergus Murphy for taking too much time to serve. set point.

But two backhand strikes by Djokovic put Alcaraz within one point of that set.

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“The backhand kind of let me down,” Djokovic said later.

Alcaraz then backhanded the winner from a return serve at 118 mph, holding his follow-up position. As people in the stands rose, Alcaraz spun with his right hand to his ear, seizing the moment.

“If I had lost that set, I probably wouldn’t have been able to lift the trophy,” Alcaraz said. “I probably could have lost in three sets.”

They were two hours and two groups.

one set each.

Now it was a match.

She began to feel unforgettable.

Game 5 of the third may have been worth the high price of admission in and of itself. Nobody wants to bend over. Nobody wants to give up anything. It was one game, yes, but it seemed meaningful.

When Djokovic smashed a forehand into the net for a break—one of five times he lost serve in the match, more than six previous opponents managed together—Alcaraz celebrated a 4-1 lead in the set by throwing his head back and shouting “Vamos!”

But Djokovic did not go away. He once again raised his level, pushing this impressive struggle into the fifth set.

One of the many reasons to admire Djokovic’s chances at that juncture: He entered Sunday with a record of 10-1 in five players at Wimbledon and 35-9 in all major slams.

But those matches are in the past.

Alcaraz is the future.

Served by a top of 130 mph. His front-end hammer hits 100 miles per hour, fired in such a way that the observer thinks every ounce of force, every fiber of his being, is invested in every swing. Slap the paddle and “Uhhh-ehhh!” The exhale of effort—along with the gasps of dazzled spectators—reverberated throughout the arena.

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He displays a game that is as varied as possible, from his hitting ability to the well-disguised shots that helped him get back to his depth in the second and third sets.

Meanwhile, Djokovic is equipped with an abundance of talent as well, and plenty of muscle memory. More often than not, he would bunch, stretch, and nearly slide into the splits to recover Alcaraz’s crisp, point-finish shots in ways no one else could.

Plus, he’s been there, and done, in ways Alcaraz, for the time being, can only dream of.

But if this victory on a windy and cloudy day is any indication, Alcaraz is well on its way to achieving a lot of its own.

He moved forward for Good by breaking it to make it 2-1 in the fifth on a backhand pass winner. Djokovic, who fell during the point but quickly bounced back, responded by hitting his racket against the goal post, letting go of the impact. He destroyed his equipment and got a law violation from Murphy.

“The frustration of the moment,” Djokovic said.

They were going to go on for another 24 minutes, but Alcaraz never relented, never gave way, no matter the skill and the man would grab him across the net. And it was Alcaraz, not Djokovic, who covered his face and rolled onto the grass after the final point, then took home the Gold Cup.

“It’s something I will never forget,” Alcaraz said. “certainly.”

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AP Tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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