Novak Djokovic outlasted Carlos Alcaraz, the No. 1 player in the world, on a match point as well as searing heat in a thrilling encounter in Mason, Ohio. After an almost four-hour-long marathon battle that kept viewers on the edge of their seats, Djokovic won 5-7, 7-6 (7), 7-6 (4).
Novak Djokovic fell to the ground and ripped off his shirt in joy, showing how happy he was. This victory was especially significant for him because it was his third Cincinnati Open victory and it served as payback for his loss to Alcaraz in the Wimbledon final last month.
In his post-match remarks at the trophy presentation, Djokovic compared the contest to the intensity of a Grand Slam event and called it one of the most thrilling matches he had ever played.
The 36-year-old Serbian persevered despite the sweltering conditions that were around 90 degrees, becoming the oldest man to win this tournament. The previous best result was a triumph at age 35 by Ken Rosewall in 1970.
Novak Djokovic match summary:
The match, which lasted 3 hours and 49 minutes, is now recognized as the longest best-of-three set final on the ATP tour since 1990. Initially laboring to move, Novak Djokovic initially showed signs of being impacted by the oppressive humidity as Alcaraz won the opening set with a backhand winner.
Alcaraz stormed up 4-2 in the second set, suggesting a comfortable victory despite spending more than 10 hours on the court this week. However, Alcaraz’s terrible serve game at 4-3, which featured four unforced mistakes, gave Novak Djokovic’s campaign new life. After winning a tough 25-shot rally in the second set tiebreak, Djokovic saved a match chance and forced a decisive third set.
A angry Alcaraz struck a drink container with his hand prior to the third set, resulting in a medical timeout for finger taping.
On his fifth opportunity in the decider, Novak Djokovic earned a crucial break, giving him a 4-3 advantage. As the game reached a tense 5-3, Djokovic lost two match points while returning the serve. With unyielding resolve, Alcaraz leveled the match at 5-5 by fending off both match points and breaking Djokovic’s serve when an overhead ball went wrong.
The match ended in a tiebreak, which Djokovic won in the end when Alcaraz’s forehand return missed the mark. With this victory, Djokovic won his 39th Masters 1000 championship and 95th career victory.
In the midst of his celebration, Djokovic said to Alcaraz, “You never give up, do you? I appreciate that about you. Well, for the fans, not for me, but that would be enjoyable and wonderful.
As the defending champion and No. 1 player in the world, Alcaraz is incredibly focused as the US Open, which starts on August 28, draws closer. Alcaraz said, “The match was pretty tight. I vowed, “I’ll be back.”