One game, 26 minutes, 32 points: Numbers behind Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic’s Wimbledon final epic

The fifth game of the third set saw 32 points played out in a high-pressure exchange

Sonia Twigg
Monday 17 July 2023 05:31 BST
Carlos Alcaraz claimed a mammoth 26-minute game in the third set
Carlos Alcaraz claimed a mammoth 26-minute game in the third set (PA)

Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz were pushed to the limit in 26-minute game that was clinched by the Spaniard to put him in the driving seat of the Wimbledon final.

It was a mammoth effort in the fifth game of the third set, which saw 32 points played out in a thrilling eye-catching exchange.

It had everything, including 13 deuces, before Alcaraz finally capitalised on his seventh break point to go two breaks up in the set.

Djokovic was arguing over towel placement and time taken between points with it deuce, but the game dragged out far beyond that.

There were as many points in that game as the entire first set, and Alcaraz almost ran a kilometer.

Alcaraz ran 718 metres in that one game alone, with Djokovic serving, while the defending Wimbledon champion covered 595 metres.

Tim Henman said afterwards, reported by BBC Sport: “Incredible tennis.

“You feel like Alcaraz is going to have to warm up his serve, he hasn’t served in such a long time. You can see what it means to his team.”

Pat Cash, also said on the BBC: “Alcaraz is out-Djokovic-ing Djokovic. He’s doing to him what Djokovic does to other players.”

Djokovic lost the first points of the set, but then saw a 40-15 lead slip away, with Alcaraz winning two points in a row to take it to the first deuce.

It was the Serbian who had the early chances, with three advantages, before the 20-year-old fought back again to eventually win the game.

It clinched the set, Djokovic would only win two more points in the final two games, before Alcaraz went a set up, winning the third 6-1.

Alcaraz went on to defeat Djokovic to win the Wimbledon men’s final, denying the Serbian a fifth consecutive title, in a five-set epic and one of the greatest matches ever played at the All England Club.

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