Novak Djokovic breaks down in tears as Carlos Alcaraz denies Wimbledon dream

Novak Djokovic was left in tears speaking to his son after the Wimbledon final

Sonia Twigg
Monday 17 July 2023 08:58 BST
Related: Djokovic smashes racket in frustration during Wimbledon final

Novak Djokovic broke down in tears addressing his son in the stands after losing the men’s Wimbledon final to Carlos Alcaraz.

The 36-year-old had not lost at Wimbledon since 2017 and had not lost on Centre Court in over 10 years before Alcaraz, a player 16 years his junior, claimed the title.

It was a thrilling contest, Alcaraz refused to back down, despite a disappointing first set, but it only seemed to spur him on and the 20-year-old rebounded with force.

A mammoth 26-minute game in the third set epitomised his resilience, and despite already being up a break, Alcaraz did not let up and claimed the game with the 32nd point.

After the game, it was all too much for Djokovic, who had not lost on Centre Court since losing to Andy Murray in the 2013 final.

“It’s nice to see my son still there still smiling (breaks down slightly in tears as his son applauded),” Djokovic said in the on-court interview.

“I love you, thank you for supporting me, I will give you a big hug and we can all…love each other.”

Wimbledon has a new champion, and in only his fourth tournament on grass, it is Alcaraz, breaking 21 years of just four names: Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray.

“I have to start obviously with praises to Carlos to his team – amazing and what a quality at the end of the match, when you had to serve it out you came out with some big serves and some big plays and you deserve it absolutely, congratulations, amazing,” Djokovic continued.

“I thought I would have trouble with you only on clay and maybe on hard court but not on grass, but now…it’s a different story from this year obviously.

“Congratulations, an amazing way to adapt to the surface and you played maybe once or twice before this year’s Wimbledon on grass and, just what you did in Queen’s, congratulations to your team, everybody.

“As for me, obviously you never like to lose matches likes this but I guess when all the emotions are settled, I have to still be very grateful because I won many many tight and close matches in the last year, to name a few 2019 against Roger (Federer) I was match points down, maybe I should have lost a couple of finals that I won so maybe this is even-stevens.”

Carlos Alcaraz with his Wimbledon trophy (Steven Paston/PA) (PA Wire)

For Alcaraz however, it was a dream come true, to the delight of a crowd who turned against the previous champion slightly.

There was a time penalty for taking too long on a serve, and boos when he smashed the net with his racquet, but Alcaraz continued unfazed, exhibiting the tennis that has taken the world by storm.

His post-match interview just highlighted his youth and meteoric rise to the top.

“I have to congratulate Novak, it’s incredible to play a final against him. It’s unbelievable,” Alcaraz said.

“(To Djokovic) you inspired me a lot. I started playing tennis watching you. Since I was born, you already were winning tournaments, it’s amazing, you are in a better shape than me.

“You said that 36 is the new 26 and you make than happen for real, but it’s amazing.”

Carlos Alcaraz played some stunning tennis to claim the Wimbledon title (Getty Images)

The Spaniard added: “Well it’s a dream come true for me, as I said before of course it’s great to win but even if I had lost I would be really proud of myself.

“Making history in this beautiful tournament, playing a final against a legend of our sport – for me it’s incredible.

“As I said, it’s a dream come true to be able to play in these stages, it’s amazing for a boy like me 20 years old to reach this kind of situation.

“I am really really proud of myself, of the team that I have, of the work that we put in every day to be able to live this experience.”

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