Novak Djokovic smashes racket as Carlos Alcaraz wins Wimbledon final
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Carlos Alcaraz has ended Novak Djokovic’s four-year run as Wimbledon champion in one of the most-anticipated finals in recent history.
Alcaraz recovered from dropping the first set and saving a set point in the second to win 1-6, 7-6 (8/6), 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 after a gruelling four hours and 42 minutes on Centre Court.
The 20-year-old Spaniard became Wimbledon's third youngest men's champion following his US Open title last year.
Djokovic looked confident as the match began but soon started to wobble.
During a 27-minute game midway through the third set, he began to argue with the umpire and engage with the crowd.
Novak Djokovic has a tantrum in the final set of the #WimbledonFinal & smashes his racket against the net post in a game that is almost the longest-ever #Wimbledon final— Stefan Simanowitz (@StefSimanowitz) July 16, 2023
(Longest was Djokovic v Federer in 2019 which lasted 4 hours 57 minutes pic.twitter.com/Vh1BhlCpJs
Later in the match, he smashed his racket on the net post, but his opponent seemed unfazed.
“Carlos Alcaraz is the special one,” ESPN commentator Chris Fowler said.
“Change is inevitable — and today was the day.”.
In his winner's speech, Alcaraz said it was a 'dream come true'.
"Even if I would have lost I know I could be really proud of myself for making history in this beautiful tournament and playing a final against a legend of our sport," he said.
A more composed Djokovic gave Alcaraz full credit during his runner-up speech.
“Good afternoon everyone. Not so good for me, but good for Carlos,” he began.
“I thought I’d only have trouble with you on clay and hard court, not grass. But it’s a different story from this year. Congrats, an amazing way to adapt to the surface.
"As for me, obviously, you know, you never like to lose matches like this. But, you know, I guess when all the emotions are settled I have to still be very grateful because I've won many, many tight and close matches in the past here," he continued.
"To name a few: 2019 against Roger [Federer] in that finals as well I was a match point down, so you know, maybe I should have lost a couple of finals that I won, so I think this is even stevens."
The 36-year-old became emotional when addressing his family, pausing for a few seconds to wipe tears from his eyes.
“Nice to see my son still up there, smiling,” he said.
“I love you. Thank you for supporting me. I’ll give you a big hug.”
“You’re obviously the defending champion. Do you consider yourself the favorite?— The Tennis Letter (@TheTennisLetter) July 13, 2023
Novak Djokovic: “Uh… I don’t want to sound arrogant, but of course I consider myself the favorite.”
They really wanted him to say it out loud.
Alcaraz told ESPN he's ready to be Djokovic's next big rival.
“I hope so... I’m ready to move forward and be the big rival of Novak," he said.
The Alcaraz victory also ended a 45-match win streak for Djokovic on Centre Court.
The last time he had lost on the famous arena was the 2013 final against Andy Murray.