It was the master vs the apprentice. The accomplished playing the rising star of the sport. The 2023 Gentleman’s Singles final had it all with Carlos Alcaraz claiming the most emphatic victory of his career in five sets 1-6, 7-6(8), 6-1, 3-6, 6-4.
It was a victory that took resilience, determination, and immense strength with Alcaraz rising to the high intensity and pressure that Djokovic threw at him.
At 20 years of age, Alcaraz becomes the third youngest player to win the singles title at the All England Club behind only Boris Becker and Bjorn Borg.
The Spaniards victory today, opens up a new chapter in the sport and a new chapter at Wimbledon. It was a special win, and this was his greatest triumph.
The first set saw the defending champion Novak Djokovic take it 6-1 with a hush surrounding centre court in anticipation of another Djokovic domination. Of course, for Djokovic, he had never lost on centre court since the 2013 singles final against Andy Murray.
Alcaraz, however, finally began to find his rhythm during the second set with the pair duelling it out with incredible skill and placement leaving the crowd on the edge of their seats as the set was decided via a tiebreak with Alcaraz edging clear.
The 20-year-old served well along while unloading his classic forehand shots mixed with the delicate drop shots he so often plays.
Having been on the backfoot early, Alcaraz suddenly had the upper hand on his rival as he played with freedom and class to take the third 6-1, including a 26-minute service game to break Djokovic after they exchanged 13 deuces.
Djokovic immediately replied to take the fourth set 6-3 with the fifth set producing more amazing drama after Alcaraz snatched an early break point with the Djokovic reaction brutal as he smashed his racket on the net post.
The final game of the match saw Alcaraz deliver enormous serves and forehands to serve out the Championship.
While disappointed, Djokovic remained composed and professional, hinting that this may have been another step to a fierce rivalry.
“It's been only three matches that we played against each other. Three really close matches. Two already this year in later stages of Grand Slams,” he said.
“I think it's good for the sport, 1 and 2 in the world facing each other in almost a five-hours, five-set thriller.
“Congratulations to him and to his team. What a tournament for him. What a match today to be part of.”
Meanwhile for Alcaraz, as a young boy he dreamed of winning on the grass at SW19 and the emotion post-match was raw. The Spaniard immediately ran to his coaching box at the conclusion of the match to embrace his team and family members.
“It's a dream come true for me, being a Wimbledon champion, something that I really wanted. Honestly, I didn't expect to get it really soon,” he said.
“Beating Novak at his best, in this stage, making history, being the guy to beat him after 10 years unbeaten on that court, is amazing for me.
“It's something that I will never forget, that's for sure. As I said, it's great for the new generation, as well, I think to see me beating him and making them think that they are capable to do it, as well.”
Alcaraz was also quick to thank his team and all his family who have had huge impacts on his unfolding career.
Alcaraz is coached by former world number one Jaun Carlos Ferrero who has seen him win his first ATP tour title and now his first Wimbledon Championship. Alcaraz, however, paid specific tribute to his father who got him involved in tennis from a young age.
“It's big moment not just for me, but for my family, for all the people around me. It's really, really special moment,” he said.
“I start playing tennis thanks to my dad. Really huge fan of tennis. I mean, he was watching tennis before I was born. It's crazy. His whole life, it's about tennis.
“I think for them, watching his kid making history, lifting the trophy, winning Wimbledon, is something incredible for them.”
Meanwhile, there was still an Australian flavour that took to the courts on day 14 with Heath Davidson playing in the Quad Wheelchair Singles Final against top seed Niels Vink.
Unfortunately for the Aussie he wasn’t able to stay with Vink losing in straight sets 1-6, 2-6.
Storm Hunter took centre stage with Elise Mertens after the men’s finals in the Women’s Doubles final as she looked to clench her maiden major womens's double title, after winning the US Open Mixed Doubles last year. The pair went down in straight sets to inspirational 37 year old duo Su-Wei Hsieh and Barbora Strycova 5-7, 4-6.