Carlos Alcaraz won in four hours and 42 minutes. (AP Photo)
Carlos Alcaraz lifted his second Grand Slam title on Sunday after beating Novak Djokovic in Wimbledon 2023 final
Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz became the first player not named Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic or Andy Murray since 2002 to win the men’s singles title at a Wimbledon Championships on Sunday in an absorbing final.
The 20-year-old ended Djokovic’s run of four successive Wimbledon titles winning an epic five-set clash that lasted four hours and 42 minutes at the Center Court.
Alcaraz says he has realised his childhood dream, calling it the happiest moment of his life. “It’s a dream. I’m 20. I didn’t experience many moments like this. Making history like I did today, it’s the happiest moment of my life,” Alcaraz said on Sunday.
The world no. 1 says his victory could be the start of change of guard in men’s singles event which has been dominated for nearly two decades by the big-four.
“Beating Novak at his best on this stage, making history, being the guy to beat him after 10 years unbeaten on this court is amazing for me. It’s great for the new generation to see me beating him and make them think they are capable of doing it as well. It’s great for me, and the young players as well,” he said.
“Beating Novak, winning Wimbledon is something I dreamed about since I started playing tennis,” he added.
Alcaraz was blown apart in the first set before he drew level in a hard-fought second-set and eventually winning the contest 1-6, 7-6 (8/6), 6-1, 3-6, 6-4.
“Probably before today I don’t think I was ready to beat Djokovic in five sets in an epic match like this, to stay good physically and mentally against a legend like Djokovic. I will remember this moment in other Grand Slams and think I am ready to play five sets against him. It probably changed my mind a bit,” he said.
Alcaraz had faced Djokovic in the semifinal of the French Open 2023 and his performance was impacted by stress-related cramps.
“I am such a different player since the French Open. I grew up a lot. I took lessons from that match. I prepared a little bit differently mentally,” he said.
“I handled the nerves better than I did at the French Open. I fought until the last ball. It was a long match. The mental part allowed me to stay there for five sets. If I had lost the second set probably I couldn’t have got the trophy, I would probably have lost in straight sets. That gave me a lot of motivation,” he added.
Djokovic admitted that Alcaraz has got the best of him, Federer and Nadal.
“It’s crazy that Novak say that. But I consider myself a really complete player. I have the shots, the strength physically, the strength mentally. Probably he’s right. But I don’t want to think about it. I’m the full Carlos Alcaraz, let’s say,” Alcaraz said.