By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Sunday July 16, 2023
After a devastating loss to Novak Djokovic at Roland-Garros, one through which Carlos Alcaraz couldn’t ship his greatest tennis as his physique let him down after simply two units of his 6-3, 5-7, 6-1 6-1 defeat by the hands of the 23-time Grand Slam champion, the Spaniard took a tough look within the mirror and emerged a extra resilient participant.
Even on Sunday morning, as he ready to face Djokovic within the Wimbledon closing, Alcaraz wasn’t certain that he might take down the person who has dominated Wimbledon’s Centre Court docket like no different within the final decade.
“Earlier than this match, I believed I can not beat Novak,” Alcaraz admitted in his post-match press convention. “However after this epic match I believe totally different about Novak in the best way that in all probability in different tournaments, in different Grand Slams, I’ll keep in mind this second.
“I’ll suppose that I am able to play 5 units towards him, good rallies, good units, actually lengthy, lengthy matches, and keep there bodily, mentally, in tennis, on the whole – in all probability it change my thoughts a bit bit after this match.”
Gone are the times when Alcaraz doesn’t imagine he matches up with Grand Slam juggernaut Djokovic on the Slams. He produced eye-opening tennis within the second-set tiebreak (snapping Djokovic’s streak of 15 Grand Slam tiebreaks received), then raised his stage once more in a 27-minute marathon sport within the third set.
Lastly, bolstered by confidence accrued, Alcaraz placed on a present within the fifth set to supply an epic victory.
Alcaraz was convincing beneath strain, enjoying with the readability and braveness of a veteran as he took the play to Djokovic to turn into the primary man to defeat Djokovic in a five-set Grand Slam closing since Andy Murray on the 2012 US Open.
What did the 20-year-old be taught from the expertise?
“That I am actually able to doing the issues that I did at this time,” he mentioned. “Most likely earlier than this match, I believed that I wasn’t able to beat Djokovic in 5 units, an epic match like this. To remain good bodily or good mentally about 5 hours towards a legend.”
Alcaraz says he approached this closing in a different way than the pair’s Roland-Garros semifinal. In Paris realized the arduous approach concerning the impact that nerves and anxiousness can have on his efficiency, and made certain he was capable of stand as much as the strain, each mentally and bodily.
“I’m completely totally different participant than French Open,” he mentioned. “I grew up so much since that second. I realized so much from that second. As I mentioned earlier than the ultimate, I took lesson from that match. I did one thing totally different earlier than the match. I ready a bit bit totally different mentally earlier than the match. I might cope with the strain, the nerves, higher than I did in French Open.”
Now his confidence ought to solely develop, after one of the crucial spectacular victories ever notched by a participant towards his age – towards an absolute legend, in his prime.
“Beating Novak at his greatest, on this stage, making historical past, being the man to beat him after 10 years unbeaten on that court docket, is superb for me,” he mentioned. “It is one thing that I’ll always remember, that is for certain. As I mentioned, it is nice for the brand new era, as nicely, I believe to see me beating him and making them suppose that they’re succesful to do it, as nicely.
“It is nice for me and I believe for the younger gamers, as nicely.”