July 16, 2023 -WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — A poor start left Carlos Alcaraz a single point from a two-set hole against Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon final.
That sort of deficit is daunting for anyone, let alone a 20-year-old in his second major final, and against anyone, let alone Djokovic, someone who hadn’t lost at Centre Court in a decade, someone seeking a fifth consecutive championship, and record-tying eighth overall, at the All England Club. Someone who won the year’s first two Grand Slam tournaments and 23 over his career.
Ah, but Alcaraz, last year’s U.S. Open champ, wanted this shot at Djokovic, someone he called “a legend of our sport.” Said it would make winning Wimbledon that much more special. And so Alcaraz managed to come through in that tiebreaker as choruses of “Car-los! Car-los!” from the stands competed with cries of his older, more experienced, more accomplished foe’s two-syllable nickname, “No-le! No-le!” And then Alcaraz came through in a 32-point, 25-minute masterpiece of a game soon thereafter. And, crucially, the Spaniard came through in the crucible of a fifth set, too.