Novak Djokovic outlasts World No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz to win the Western & Southern open in three-set thriller and exact revenge for Wimbledon final
- Alcaraz had recently defeated Djokovic last month to win the final at Wimbledon
- The players battled intense heat and humidity during the matchup in Cincinatti
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Novak Djokovic overcame a match point and intense heat to beat world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz 5-7 7-6(7) 7-6(4) and win the Western & Southern open in a heart-pounding matchup on Sunday.
Djokovic collapsed to his back before tearing his shirt off after pulling off the victory in the nearly four-hour contest to win his third title in Cincinnati and get revenge after his loss to the Spaniard in last month’s Wimbledon final.
The Serbian looked hobbled by the intense humidity in the tail end of the first set, as he was barely moving when Alcaraz hit a backhand winner to grab the opener.
Alcaraz looked fresh despite being on the court for more than 10 hours this week and grabbed a 4-2 second-set lead as it appeared he might cruise to the finish line.
But Alcaraz would produce a terrible service game while leading 4-3 that included four unforced errors to hand a lifeline to the world No. 2.
Novak Djokovic ripped open his shirt after defeating Carlos Alcaraz in three sets on Sunday
The Serbian star defeated the Spaniard Alcaraz 5-7 7-6(7) 7-6(4) in the Western & Southern
In the second-set tiebreak Djokovic saved a championship point and went on to force a deciding set after winning a 25-shot rally.
During the break before the third set, a frustrated Alcaraz pounded his hand against the plastic drinks container next to his chair, requiring a medical time out to tape his finger.
In the decider, Djokovic broke on his fifth opportunity of the game for a 4-3 lead.
The drama would continue as Djokovic squandering two match points while returning while leading 5-3.
Alcaraz would save two more match points and break serve when Djokovic missed an overhead for 5-5.
The players ultimately arrived at another tiebreak, which Djokovic won when the 20-year-old’s forehand return went wide.
The win was Djokovic’s 95th career title and 39th Masters 1000 crown.