Novak Djokovic opens up about his biggest regrets from Wimbledon final against Carlos Alcaraz
Novak Djokovic admits he didn’t dwell too long about his Wimbledon defeat to Carlos Alcaraz, although he does have a couple of major regrets from the final.
The 2023 Wimbledon final was a real humdinger as the build-up was dominated by talk about the master against the apprentice as Djokovic was a seven-time SW19 champion and was looking to win his fifth consecutive title. On the other side of the net was Alcaraz with the Spaniard playing in his first final at the All England Club.
In the end, it was the 20-year-old Alcaraz who emerged victorious in five sets and while losing a final is always a bitter pill to swallow, Djokovic got over the defeat pretty quickly.
“It’s not the first [nor] the last match that I lost, so I was over it in a day,” he explained. “Obviously, I needed some really good rest after that, and some time with my family, and that’s what I did. Of course, I was regretting not using the chances during that final.”
The 23-time Grand Slam winner was of course referring to his chances in the second set and the deciding set.
The pendulum swung back and forth several times over the five sets with Djokovic taking charge early on and had an opportunity to go two sets to love up before Alcaraz stormed back, but the 23-time Grand Slam winner then dug himself out of a hole and found himself within touching distance of an early break in the fifth set.
Djokovic was 30-40 up at 1-1 in the deciding set and he was in control of the point to claim the break, but he inexplicably hit the ball into the net to allow Alcaraz back and the youngster took the chance with both hands as he held serve before breaking in the next game.
The Spaniard then held his nerve for the remainder of the match to win 1-6, 7-6 (8-6), 6-1, 3-6, 6-4.
Djokovic added: “I was [a] set up and had some set points in the second and I felt that I was close to being in the lead. And then, obviously, some break points in the fifth.
“It was a close match, but well deserved from his side, because to win he played better in the important moments, and that’s what I said after the final. I think he was a deserved winner and that’s it really, pretty much. You move on.”
The 23-time Grand Slam winner has not played any tennis since that match as he opted to skip last week’s Canadian Open, but he will return to action at the Cincinnati Open this week before switching focus to the US Open, which gets underway on August 28.
“I need to obviously move on and try to regroup and find motivation for what’s coming up, and all the challenges that are ahead of me, and that’s why I’m here,” he said.
“Otherwise, if I’m not motivated, I wouldn’t be here. Now, after many years of professional tennis, I feel like I have a choice to play what I really want to play. And I really wanted to be here in Cincinnati, and of course, [the] US Open [is] around the corner.”
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