Incredible first meeting between the (presumably) best player in history and the best (potentially) born in the 00s. Alcaraz , one day after defeating his idol and 17 years older compatriot Nadal (6-2, 1-6, 6-3), he stunned the tennis world once again, overcoming the no. 1. The Spaniard led 4:2* in the opener, but lost the set in a 5/7 tie-break improving from 1:5 and having a decent chance to win the point at 5:6. It’s quite astonishing that for another 2.5 hours there was only one break of serve – it occurred in the 12th game of the 2nd set when Alcaraz perfectly responded to two dropshots (once with a dropshot, then with a forehand semi passing-shot into an empty space). Before it happened he had saved three mini-match points (a double one at 4-all). The decider was really special: Djokovic faced break points in three different games including a match point at 4:5, the teenager withstood a break point at 3-all when attacked the net behind the serve, but didn’t need to play a volley (Djokovic’s backhand landed wide). Alcaraz converted his third match point with a forehand winner, actually he overwhelmed the Serb with this shot. “Congrats to him. He held his nerve very well,” Djokovic said in his post-match press conference. “For somebody of his age to play so maturely and courageously is impressive. He deserved to win. His kick in altitude here is huge, and it was just difficult to deal with his ball, and I wasn’t feeling my return from that side (ad-court). He was serving a lot of kick just to put himself in a good position.” It’s Djokovic’s second longest three-set defeat #
# Djokovic’s three longest three-setters (he lost them all):
Madrid ’09 (SF): Nadal 6-3, 6-7, 6-7… 4 hours 3 minutes… Total points: 121-125
Madrid ’22 (SF): Alcaraz 7-6, 5-7, 6-7… 3 hours 35 minutes… Total points: 131-134
Belgrade ’21 (SF): Karatsev 5-7, 6-4, 4-6… 3 hours 26 minutes… Total points: 124-127
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