‘The Carlos Alcaraz effect got to Novak Djokovic in Wimbledon final’
Novak Djokovic did not lose the Wimbledon final due to the pressure, but instead it was Carlos Alcaraz’s ability “counter quality with quality” that won the Spaniard the match, according to renowned tennis coach Rick Macci.
23-time Grand Slam winner Djokovic started the 2023 Wimbledon final as the hot favourite as he was looking to win a fifth consecutive title, which would have seen him draw level with Roger Federer’s record eight titles.
He was also playing in his third major final of the year as he had already won the Australian Open and French Open.
Alcaraz, by contrast, was playing in his first final at SW19 and only his 13th match at the All England Club and 18th on grass at top level.
Early on it looked like Djokovic would ease to another title as he won the first set 6-1, but Alcaraz hit back and won the next two sets before Djokovic claimed the fourth set to take it to a decider.
There were some match changing points in game two of the fifth set as Djokovic was 30-40 up on the Alcaraz serve and appeared to have an easy put away from a lob, but he smashed the ball into the net.
I still can't believe Alcaraz won that pointpic.twitter.com/Hvd5qgP2Ae
— Bastien Fachan (@BastienFachan) July 17, 2023
The Spaniard held serve and then broke in the next game before serving it out seven games later for a 1-6, 7-6 (8-6), 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 win.
Some say the pressure got to Djokovic on the day, but says it was more are a case of Alcaraz winning the match than Djokovic losing.
“He’s definitely human, but no, the pressure did not get to him. The Alcaraz effect got to him,” the American – who has coached the likes of Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Jennifer Carpriati, Maria Sharapova and Andy Roddick in his heyday – told Tennis-Infinity.com.
“You gotta remember, Carlos made a bunch of great saves during that rally, he got back two or three balls that most guys on the tour will not,”
“And a couple of them, he got back with quality. See, he counters quality with quality where the rest of the world misses, or they lob it, or whatever. And even Djoker said: ‘I’ve never played anybody like Alcaraz.’ What a compliment. And he’s played everybody.”
He added: “And that’s a 20-year-old kid we’re talking about. First time Wimbledon finals. So I think there’s a lot of meat on the bone. So no, the pressure didn’t get to him, and he wasn’t thinking about anything other than, you know, when one person plays good and the other plays bad, or when people miss, your opponent usually has something to do with it, and people don’t understand that.
“I mean, you gotta give credit to Alcaraz and not take anything away from Djokovic. But that being said, I think the best is still yet to come.”
READ MORE: Carlos Alcaraz dubbed ‘King Midas of tennis’
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