Carlos Alcaraz has snapped 23-time grand slam champion Novak Djokovic’s long Wimbledon streak to claim his second grand slam title in a stunning men’s decider. Both players showed their class on and off the court but it was the 20-year-old Spaniard who came through a thrilling contest, after prevailing 1-6, 7-6 (8/6), 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 after four hours and 42 minutes on Centre Court.
Djokovic had not lost in his previous 34 matches – or since 2010 on Centre Court – but his run came to an end in an absorbing encounter as Alacaraz denied the Serb a record-equalling eighth Wimbledon title and 24th career major that would have matched Aussie great Margaret Court’s all-time record. Alcaraz recovered from dropping the first set and had to save a set point in the second, as the young gun demonstrated once again how strong his mental resolve is.
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Djokovic at one point argued with the chair umpire about starting the service clock while he was going to get a towel, then copped boos from the crowd after a lengthy bathroom break before the fourth set, in which he found a way to regroup and force a deciding set. Djokovic wasted a golden chance to break for 2-0 in the decider after a wild smash and Alcaraz made him pay after breaking to go 2-1 up.
A frustrated Djokovic collected a code violation for destroying his racquet against the net post before he slipped 3-1 down and a famous victory was complete for Alcaraz when Djokovic buried a forehand into the net. Djokovic was clearly devastated but showed his class in a runner-up speech in which he heaped praise on his young opponent.
“What a quality at the end of the match when you had to serve it out,” said Djokovic, who had been chasing a fifth successive Wimbledon crown. “You came up with some big plays in the big situation and you absolutely deserve it. Amazing.