The Telegraph Sport comments that Carlos Alcaraz dethroning Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon Men’s Singles final was the moment of rebirth for tennis.
Novak Djokovic may have left a dent in the net post, but it was Carlos Alcaraz who stamped his authority on Wimbledon.
The 20-year-old pretender came of age in one of the most spectacular finals this court – and indeed this sport – has ever seen.
After all the farewells of recent years, after the loss of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams, his five-set victory felt like a symbolic moment of rebirth.
Amid 4hr 42min of see-sawing drama. The Wimbledon title hinged on one helter-skelter 14-shot rally in the early stages of the third set.
Alcaraz had been wasteful on break points until this moment, converting only one in five, but he would not be denied this time.
Alcaraz struck the ball down the line fiercely, but not as Djokovic slammed his racket into the net post seconds later. Mangling the graphite frame and marking the wooden post.
Wimbledon has now stated that they will fine Djokovic $8,000 for his action and deduct from his prize money.
For the next few minutes, he flapped his wrist back and forward, trying to stop the tendons from jangling. ”It was a frustration in the moment,” Djokovic said later. ”Just a tough, tough couple of points.”
Alcaraz, meanwhile, had put his finger to his ear to encourage the crowd’s roars. The noise on Centre Court was often deafening. Spilling over into football-style chants of ”Carlos” and ”Nole” – although the underdog had most of the support.
Celebrities such as Brad Pitt, Stormzy and Ariana Grande looked on from the stands. Every bit as caught up in the joyride as the mortals around them.
The deciding set delivered a finale to round off what has been a hugely memorable Wimbledon, even with those big-name absentees. One of Boris Becker’s favourite sayings is: ”When you see the finish line, you sprint for it.”
And that is what Alcaraz did, unleashing no fewer than 18 clean winners in those 10 games.
In the final 48 minutes, Alcaraz altered his tactics. Incorporating more drop shots, possibly noticing Djokovic’s reduced explosiveness in his initial movements compared to the match’s beginning.
It takes extraordinary ‘cojones’ as they would say in Spanish, to pull off touch shots of this quality. Especially, at a time when most players would be gripping the racket with white knuckles.
I counted nine of them in that deciding set, of which all but one proved successful.
All things considered a very entertaining Wimbledon Men’s Singles Final for 2023.
Read our review of the Women’s Singles Final here.
EXTENDED HIGHLIGHTS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvBr9Wr8BCY
SHORT-VERSION HIGHLIGHTS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-VmllVIOXA