Roger Federer hails Carlos Alcaraz’s ‘incredible’ feat against Novak Djokovic

Shahida Jacobs
Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon
Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic hug after Wimbledon final

Roger Federer has described Carlos Alcaraz’s 2023 Wimbledon final victory over Novak Djokovic as “incredible”, saying he knows from experience just how difficult it is to beat the Serbian at the All England Club.

Djokovic went into last year’s showpiece match against the Spaniard as the heavy favourite as he had won four consecutive titles at SW19 and was searching for a record-equalling eighth trophy with his last defeat at the tournament in 2017.

Alcaraz, meanwhile, was still a novice on grass as he was making only his third appearance at Wimbledon, but it was the rising star who pulled off the win as he defeated the tennis great 1–6, 7–6 (8–6), 6–1, 3–6, 6–4 in the final.

The 21-year-old has followed up his Wimbledon success with the Roland Garros trophy, this time defeating Alexander Zverev in five sets in the final.

Federer discussed the state of men’s tennis during an interview with ESPN and said: “The guys are doing so well. Alcaraz at the French [Open] was fantastic, his win here last year [at Wimbledon] against Novak was incredible in that five-setter.”

Federer lost three Wimbledon finals against Djokovic – including in 2019 when he had two matches – while he only got the better of his great Serbian rival once – in the 2012 semi-finals.

The Swiss added: “I’ve played Novak here I know how hard he is to beat. So for Alcaraz to do it was incredible.”

But Alcaraz is not the only youngster who has hogged the headlines in recent months as Jannik Sinner won his maiden Grand Slam at the Australian Open and replaced Djokovic at world No 1 after the French Open.

Alcaraz and Sinner have also played some incredible matches with their most recent being the Spaniard’s semi-final win in Paris.

Jannik Sinner and Alexander Zverev labelled ‘boring’ by Wimbledon winner in brutal verdict

‘Even if Jannik Sinner has very big power, Carlos Alcaraz has even more’

“Then Sinner how his progression has been the last couple of years, I like it a lot. So I see that continuing, which is gonna mean that both are gonna meet each other so many times it’s gonna be a great rivalry,” Federer said.

Djokovic, meanwhile, is “bouncing back” after he was initially expected to miss Wimbledon after undergoing knee surgery just over three weeks ago.

In his first match since the operation, Djokovic defeated Vit Kopriva in three sets before being taken to four sets by Brit Jacob Fearnley.

“Novak is amazing that he’s bounced back. Incredible effort for him after the surgery to come back and be playing. It will be very interesting to see how he bounces back against his three-hour match [on Thursday],” Federer said.