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Novak Djokovic Claims Cincinnati Title After Grueling Battle Against Carlos AlcarazNovak Djokovic Claims Cincinnati Title After Grueling Battle Against Carlos Alcaraz

Novak Djokovic Claims Cincinnati Title After Grueling Battle Against Carlos Alcaraz

Publish – 21 aug , 2023

Novak Djokovic Triumphs in Cincinnati Open After Epic Battle Against Carlos Alcaraz

In an awe-inspiring showdown, Novak Djokovic emerged victorious against world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz, overcoming a match point and grueling heat to secure a nail-biting victory of 5-7, 7-6 (7), 7-6 (4) in the Cincinnati Open final on Sunday.

In a display of remarkable resilience, Djokovic, after almost four hours of intense competition, collapsed onto his back and tore off his shirt as he celebrated his win. This hard-fought triumph marked his third Cincinnati title and a sweet redemption after his defeat to Alcaraz in the Wimbledon final just a month ago.

“This match goes down as one of the most exhilarating encounters I’ve ever participated in, across any tournament,” shared Djokovic, the illustrious holder of 23 Grand Slam titles, during the post-match trophy ceremony. “The atmosphere resembled that of a Grand Slam.”

Amidst temperatures hovering around 90 degrees, the 36-year-old Serbian star withstood the longest men’s match of the tournament since at least 1990, etching his name as the oldest male player to clinch the championship. Notably, Ken Rosewall was 35 when he secured the title in 1970.

Stretching to an epic duration of 3 hours and 49 minutes, this final marked the lengthiest best-of-three set match in the history of the ATP tour (since 1990).

As the match neared its conclusion, Djokovic appeared visibly affected by the intense humidity, his movements hindered. Nevertheless, Alcaraz seized the opening set with a backhand winner, taking advantage of Djokovic’s momentary struggle.

Novak Djokovic Claims Cincinnati Title After Grueling Battle Against Carlos Alcaraz
Carlos Alcaraz (left) and Novak Djokovic produced a contest for the ages. (AP Photo)

Novak Djokovic Claims Cincinnati Title After Grueling Battle Against Carlos Alcaraz

Alcaraz Maintains Freshness Despite Over 10 Hours on Court, Djokovic Seizes Thrilling Victory

Carlos Alcaraz, displaying an impressive energy level despite spending more than 10 hours on the court this week, took a commanding 4-2 lead in the second set, seemingly poised to breeze towards victory in the Cincinnati Open final.

However, a sudden downturn in Alcaraz’s service game occurred while leading 4-3, as he committed four unforced errors, providing a lifeline for the world No. 2, Novak Djokovic.

In a gripping second-set tiebreak, Djokovic fought off a championship point and managed to extend the match to a decisive third set, with a breathtaking 25-shot rally contributing to his comeback.

During the intermission preceding the third set, Alcaraz’s frustration became evident when he forcefully struck his hand against a plastic drinks container beside his chair. This action necessitated a medical timeout for finger taping.

In the final set, Djokovic capitalized on his fifth opportunity to break serve, securing a 4-3 advantage that added to the mounting tension.

The dramatic narrative continued as Djokovic missed two match points while leading 5-3, and Alcaraz demonstrated remarkable resilience by saving both, subsequently breaking Djokovic’s serve to even the score at 5-5.

The culmination arrived with yet another tiebreak, where Djokovic emerged triumphant as a forehand return from the 20-year-old Alcaraz veered wide.

With this hard-fought victory, Djokovic added his 95th career title and his 39th Masters 1000 crown to his illustrious collection.

“I have so many thoughts racing through my mind, yet I’m not entirely certain I possess the necessary energy to express them all,” Djokovic shared, cradling his cherished trophy. His gaze then shifted towards Alcaraz.

“Your tenacity knows no bounds, does it?” he remarked with a nod of admiration. “That’s one trait I truly admire in you. Perhaps our paths will cross again in New York. It would undoubtedly be an exciting encounter—for the spectators, that is, not necessarily for me.”

With the commencement of the US Open scheduled for August 28, Alcaraz, the reigning champion, retains his firm hold on the No. 1 ranking as he enters the tournament.

Reflecting on the hard-fought contest, Alcaraz commented, “The match was incredibly tight. Rest assured, I’ll return stronger.

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