Novak Djokovic vs. Carlos Alcaraz: mouthwatering clash in men’s Wimbledon final

Novak Djokovic vs. Carlos Alcaraz. Perennial grand slam winner against the leader of the next generation and the Wimbledon men’s final many wanted.

Djokovic and Alcaraz will meet on Sunday in a mouthwatering final between two of the sport’s most in-form players in a match where there is much on the line – the winner will leave London with not only the Wimbledon crown but also world No. 1 status.

Djokovic even acknowledged the excitement of a clash with Alcaraz in the aftermath of his semifinal victory over Jannik Sinner.

“I think, judging by the performances that we have seen from all the players, I think this is probably the best finals that we could have,” he told reporters. “We are both in good form. We’re both playing well.

“I guess I want to take this title without a doubt. I look forward to it. It’s going to be a great challenge, greatest challenge that I could have at the moment from any angle really: physical, mental, emotional.”

Although Djokovic believed that Alcaraz is “hungry” for success, he said he felt similar feelings.

“I’m hungry, too, so let’s have a feast.”

Learning from past mistakes

Alcaraz’s remarkable ascent to the top of tennis has been quick, so much so that at this year’s French Open he was seen by many as the favorite to win what would have been his second grand slam title.

As he blitzed through opponents on the clay – a surface which he, like his compatriot Rafael Nadal, has become dominant on – those beliefs were enhanced.

And against Djokovic in the semifinal, he held his own against the 36-year-old for much of the match, even playing the better tennis at times.

However, at the start of the third set disaster struck when he began suffering from serious cramps which hampered his all-action style of play. He went on to lose the match, ending hopes of a first French Open title.

After the match, Alcaraz later said that nerves and tension had caused his whole body to cramp.

This time, the 20-year-old is keen to avoid anything similar happening again, saying he’ll look to his psychologist – who he says he’s been working with since 2020 – to help him through the process.

“I will talk with her how to prepare that match, that important moment for me, that is not going to be easy,” the current world No. 1 told reporters after his victory over Daniil Medvedev in the semifinals.

He added: “I (will) try to get into the court with not as much nerves as I probably had in French Open, in the semifinal. I (will) try to pull out all nerves, try to enjoy that moment because probably in the semifinal at the French Open I didn’t enjoy at all in the first set probably.

“I’ll do something different from the match. I prepare the match a little bit different from French Open. It’s going to be different for me. I hope not to get cramp during the final.”

History making

For Djokovic, he has another opportunity to make history on Sunday.

Having already achieved the men’s singles grand slam titles record with his 23rd at the French Open last month, Djokovic can tie Margaret Court for the most singles titles of all time with victory at Wimbledon.

The Serbian can also tie Roger Federer on eight for the most Wimbledon titles in men’s singles and a win on Sunday would be his third grand slam of the year, giving him the opportunity at the US Open later this year to complete a ‘grand slam’ of all four majors in one calendar year.

That hasn’t been done since Steffi Graf won all four grand slams – as well as the Olympic gold medal in women’s singles – in 1988. Rod Laver is the last man to accomplish the feat, in 1969.

With six out of the last eight grand slams under his belt, Djokovic says remaining focused on the biggest matches has allowed him to reach this point.

“Well, it’s no secret that grand slams are the highest priority for me, the highest goals on my priority list,” he said. “Every time I start the season, I want to peak at these four tournaments. I try to organize my schedule, training schedule, and my preparation weeks, and all the tournaments, according to these priorities.

“I feel that the job is not finished until I lift the trophy – hopefully – and play in the finals of a grand slam. I put myself, again, in that position. Of course, I’m very thrilled.”

This post appeared first on