“Epic Comeback: Djokovic Battles to Victory Against Alcaraz in Cincinnati Final”

In order to exact revenge for his humiliation in the Wimbledon final, Novak Djokovic overcame Carlos Alcaraz on Sunday, 5-7, 7-6(7), and 7-6(4), to win the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, Ohio.

 

The 36-year-old Serb won the Cincinnati Open and the 95th ATP Tour title of his career after rallying from a set and a break down against the world number one while competing in his first tournament on US soil since 2021.

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MASON, OHIO – AUGUST 20: Novak Djokovic of Serbia poses with the trophy after defeating Carlos Alcaraz of Spain during the final of the Western & Southern Open at Lindner Family Tennis Center on August 20, 2023 in Mason, Ohio. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

 

Djokovic sank to the ground for a few seconds after the three hours and 49 minutes-long match, which was the longest best-of-three sets final on the ATP Tour since 1990, before standing up and ripping off his shirt.

 

The battle was “definitely one of the toughest, most exciting matches I was ever a part of on any tournament,” a worn-out Djokovic stated after it. “To be honest, it felt even more like a grand slam final. Every game we play against one another is a close one.

 

Djokovic said he hoped to play the 20-year-old “in some weeks time in New York,” hesitating briefly before adding “for the crowd,” in what might be a sneak peek of the US Open final next month.

It wouldn’t be polite, at least not to me.

After winning a 25-shot run in the second set’s tiebreaker, the Serbian saved the championship point to advance to the decisive third set.

In the third set, Djokovic missed several opportunities to win the match, which forced the two players into a tiebreak. This time, Djokovic prevailed.

 

During the presentation of the trophy, Alcaraz addressed Djokovic, “It’s amazing playing against you, sharing the court with you, and learning from you.

“Even though this fight was really tight, I gained a lot of knowledge from a champion like you. Therefore, thank you and your team.

 

Since losing to Daniil Medvedev in the US Open final in 2021, Djokovic had not competed on US soil. Djokovic has been prohibited from entering the nation for the previous two years and lacks the Covid-19 vaccination.

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MASON, OHIO – AUGUST 20: Carlos Alcaraz of Spain and Novak Djokovic of Serbia pose with their trophies after the final of the Western & Southern Open at Lindner Family Tennis Center on August 20, 2023 in Mason, Ohio. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

 

But early this year, the vaccination regulations for visitors from outside the US were eased, allowing Djokovic to participate in Cincinnati.

 

The US Open, which starts on August 28 in New York, will be the next event for both players.

Djokovic will aim to surpass Margaret Court for the most men’s and women’s singles grand slam titles ever by winning his 24th career title.

 

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