Spanish phenom Carlos Alcaraz (20-1, Spain) won the “match of the century” against Novak Djokovic (36-2, Serbia) to claim his first Wimbledon title.
Alcaraz defeated Djokovic 3-2 (1-6 7-6 6-1 3-6 6-4) after a four-hour, 42-minute battle in the men’s singles final of the tournament at the All England Club in London, England, on Saturday (Sept. 16).
Alcaraz, who lost to Djokovic in the men’s singles semifinals at the French Open last year, started a new era by reaching the Wimbledon final.
It was the second major title of his career after winning the US Open last year. He also retained his world number one ranking.
Alcaraz was completely outclassed by Djokovic in the first set, dropping it 1-6, but bounced back to level the match by taking the second set in a tiebreak.
A refreshed Alcaraz turned the tide in the third set, dropping just one game in a flawless performance. His 13 deuces with a 3-1 lead in the game were crucial.
But the seven-time Wimbledon champion wasn’t going to go down without a fight. Despite complaining of discomfort in his left thigh, he clinched the fourth set and pushed the match to a fifth and deciding set.
It was Alcaraz who won the final set. With a physical advantage, Alcaraz broke Djokovic’s third service game to take control of the match and hold on for the win.
Alcaraz’s victory was symbolic of the end of the long-running era of the “Big Three” in men’s tennis.
For nearly two decades, the men’s game was dominated by Roger Federer (retired), Djokovic, and Rafael Nadal (Spain). Add in Andy Murray (Great Britain), who was once part of the “Big Four,” and you have an ironclad group that hasn’t allowed any other players to challenge them.
It had been a whopping 21 years since a player other than these four had won the men’s singles title at Wimbledon since Lleyton Hewitt (retired) in 2002.
But even they couldn’t beat the years. Federer has retired, and Nadal has announced that he will leave the court after next season. Murray is still playing through injuries, but not at his peak. Only Djokovic was left with a spark, but he was knocked out by Alcaraz at Wimbledon.
Djokovic has a lot to lose with this loss.
He lost his fifth straight Wimbledon title, his eighth overall, and became the oldest man to win a Wimbledon singles title.
His plans to win the Australian and French 한국야동 Opens this year and move one step closer to a “calendar grand slam” (winning all four majors in a season) with a Wimbledon victory were also dashed.