The challenges between Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic in Cincinnati was sensational, with a daring final which reserved continuous reversals and which did not have a master until the last point of the tiebreak of the third set, when the 36-year-old Serbian won after 3 hours and 49 minutes of a psycho-physically exhausting match, for the two protagonists but also for the crowd.
Novak Djokovic prevailed with the score of 5-7 7-6(7) 7-6(4), saving a match point in the second set and conquering his third title on American hard courts, the 39th Master 1000 in his career, further securing his record as the most successful tennis player in this category of tournaments.
The crazy match between Djokovic and Alcaraz was also the longest final in the history of the US tournament, also becoming the third longest final in three sets of history since 1990. A record that seemed unthinkable when in the second set the Spaniard, up by a set and a break and with Djokovic visibly conditioned by some physical problems, was about to conquer his fifth 1000 title in as many attempts.
But there is nothing more wrong than giving even a slightest chance to the 23-time Serbian slam champion and an empty pass by the 20-year-old from Murcia gave hope and new life to Nole, who turned the game around thanks to two tiebreaks.
Novak Djokovic's compliments to Carlos Alcaraz
At the end of the match the Serbian champion praised his opponent. He told: "Alcaraz doesn't surprise me anymore. The way he won some big matches is impressive. You just have to tip your hat to a guy like that, who plays so maturely and handles pressure so well.
We cannot forget his age. The sensations I feel on the pitch against him remind me of those with Rafael Nadal. Every point is a battle. You have to conquer every single point, regardless of the conditions. The match point he disallowed at 5-3 was just fantastic.
I had him running to all the corners, hit a solid drop shot, and in no time he was back on the ball finding a great passer. All the matches we played against each other lasted a long time. It's definitely a challenge that we both have to accept, because that's what is required of us to win big titles."