Alcaraz falls in Djokovic rematch in Cincinnati

The Spaniard suffers from a reborn ‘Nole’ after four hours of incredible finale


The Spanish tennis player Carlos Alcaraz lost (5-7, 7-6(7), 7-6(4)) to the Serbian Novak Djokovic this Sunday in the final of the Cincinnati tournament, the seventh Masters 1,000 of the season, a duel of Titans, the two best players in the world, for four hours.

Alcaraz fell in the small revenge against ‘Nole’, well celebrated by the man from Belgrade for the quality and demand of the exchange in Ohio (United States), but far from the value of the Spanish’s victory over the Serbian a month ago in the Wimbledon final .

The Murcian will regret the lost opportunity, winning the first set and ‘break’ up in the second, but it was an epic one-on-one, with both nothing more than thinking about the next point. “It’s one of the toughest matches I’ve played in my life, one of the most exciting. This rivalry gets better and better,” the 23-time Grand Slam champion said after winning his third title in Cincy.

Alcaraz saved four match points in the third set, but also missed one in the second, where he revived a Djokovic who had reappeared this week since his defeat in London. Juan Carlos Ferrero’s pupil began marking territory with a better staging, despite the fact that he lost his serve first, up to 7-5.

The number one in the world, secured by reaching the final, took control of the second set but the Serb’s reaction was about to fall and he hit it to at least force sudden death. There, Alcaraz remained brave, but lost that match point and Djokovic forced a third set that put the young Spaniard to the test.

At 20 years old, the man from El Palmar has been leaving the sports world speechless for a couple of years, but once again he surpassed himself by enduring the attacks of a tennis legend. ‘Nole’ made 1/13 in ‘break’ balls against an Alcaraz who raised the impossible, a battle between the 1st and 2nd in the world that could not disappoint, both attacking.

The Spaniard saved those four match points and broke his rival when he was serving to close the final, still from Numantino to reach another ‘tie-break’. After almost four hours, the Serbian had an incredible final, emotional because of how Djokovic celebrated it and the tears that Alcaraz left in his speech and listening to his rival.

The man from Belgrade extended his record in Masters 1,000 to his 39th title, the third tournament won in 2023 and 95th in his career, a total behind only Jimmy Connors and Roger Federer. For Alcaraz, who experienced a week of matches suitable for very few, it is one more lesson, although he did not win his seventh title of 2023, on his way to defending the title at the imminent US Open.