By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Sunday July 16, 2023
For a second, there was a actuality that featured a post-Djokovic openness at Wimbledon. With Roger Federer gone and Rafael Nadal now not an element at Wimbledon, there was a perception that the window could be open for the Matteo Berrettinis and Nick Kyrgioses of the world to angle in for a Wimbledon title as Novak Djokovic – now 36 – ages.
Carlos Alcaraz, who simply ripped by the grass court docket season with out dropping a single match as he dethroned Wimbledon king Novak Djokovic (1-6, 7-6(6), 6-1, 3-6, 6-4) in a Centre Courtroom remaining for the ages, is altering that skinny narrative.
If Alcaraz could be this good on grass with 4 tournaments on the floor beneath his belt, why can’t he turn out to be the sports activities’ premier participant on the floor sooner or later?
Djokovic, for one, is aware of that the ante has been upped.
“I believed I am going to have hassle with you solely on clay and possibly onerous court docket – not on grass – however however now it’s a unique story,” Djokovic mentioned with a smile on Centre Courtroom after Sunday’s remaining.
The 23-time main champion elaborated on his phrases in his post-match press convention.
“I need to say he shocked me,” the 36-year-old, who was bidding to turn out to be the oldest males’s singles champion in Wimbledon historical past on Sunday, mentioned. “He shocked everybody how shortly he tailored to grass this 12 months. He hasn’t had too many wins on grass within the final two years that he performed.”
Djokovic, who was bidding for his record-tying twenty fourth main singles titles and his eighth at Wimbledon, says that Alcaraz’s title at Queen’s was a springboard.
“I believe Queen’s helped him so much,” he mentioned. “He was near dropping that first match in Queen’s. Then he began to achieve momentum, an increasing number of wins in opposition to actually good gamers.”
Even so, Wimbledon is a unique stage on the subject of grass court docket tennis. Alcaraz had by no means been past the spherical of 16 on the All England Membership previous to this 12 months. Final 12 months he was bounced by Jannik Sinner in 4 units.
Possibly the slow-playing courts at SW19 make the sport even simpler for Alcaraz? Djokovic thinks it is perhaps the case.
“Wimbledon courts are slower than Aorangi courts or possibly Queen’s courts,” Djokovic mentioned. “It is extra appropriate for I suppose the baseliners like he’s.”
Even so, the completeness of Alcaraz’s recreation makes him deadly on any floor he steps on.
“I need to say the slices, the form of chipping returns, the online play, it’s totally spectacular,” Djokovic mentioned. “I did not count on him to play so properly this 12 months on grass, however he is confirmed that he is the perfect participant on this planet, little question.
Djokovic is way from finished on the grass, as one of many match’s best legends, he’ll be again subsequent 12 months for an additional go. However when he does retire, don’t count on chaos to reign supreme on the lads’s facet at Wimbledon.
Now that the torch has been handed, Alcaraz could maintain it for some time.