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Carlos Alcaraz defeats Novak Djokovic in epic Wimbledon men's singles final

Men's world number one Carlos Alcaraz has produced a stunning performance to claim his maiden Wimbledon title and end Novak Djokovic's 34-match win streak at the All England Club.

It wasn't the only record to tumble during the match which saw the 20-year-old Spaniard fight back from a set down to win the match 1-6, 7-6 (8/6), 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 and his second career major, in what was a four hour, 42 minute epic where Djokovic repeatedly lost his cool.

The Alcaraz victory also ended a 45-match win streak for Djokovic on Centre Court. The last time he had lost on the famous arena was the 2013 final against Andy Murray.

The 23-times grand slam champion repeatedly engaged in dialogue with chair umpire Fergus Murphy, was given a time violation warning in the second set tiebreak and a code violation for racquet abuse in the fifth set.

Djokovic obliterated a frame on the net post when Alcaraz broke him for a 2-1 lead in the final set.

He hit the wooden post so hard the racquet chipped the wood away and the Serbian great was left shaking out a sore arm.

The scene was eerily reminiscent to when he lost the bronze medal match at the Tokyo Olympics to Pablo Carreno Busta.

Djokovic never gave up and he made Alcaraz work for every game but the final break was telling.

It was the moment the Serbian star realised his dream of tying Federer's eight Wimbledon crowns was over, another shot at the Calendar Grand Slam over, and he would not yet tie Margaret Court's 24 grand slam singles titles.

From there the pair traded service holds as Alcaraz showed just how mature and confident he is to continue to go for his shots when he needed to and serve out the match without showing any nerves.

It was those attributes that stood out to Djokovic too.

"What a quality in the end of the match ... when you had to serve it out, you came up with some big serves and big plays and you absolutely deserve it," Djokovic said before he fought to hold back tears when thanking his family and his young son.

For Alcaraz, the shattered dreams of Djokovic were his coming true as he became the youngest men's singles winner since Germany's Boris Becker won the title in 1985.

"It's a dream come true for me," Alcaraz said.

"Even if I would have lost I know I could be really proud of myself for making history in this beautiful tournament and playing a final against a legend of our sport."

Complete turnaround

The player Alcaraz was in the fifth set, was far removed from the one that showed up in the first, when the 20-year-old seemed as overawed by the occasion as women's runner-up Ons Jabeur was just one night before.

It took Djokovic just 34 minutes of dominance to take that set as Alcaraz looked like a mere mortal instead of the youngest world number one in men's tennis history.

He knew it was not good enough.

"After the first set I thought 'Carlos, increase the level. Everyone would be disappointed.'

And increase the level he did, as Djokovic's initially dropped.

The Spaniard broke Djokovic in the opening game of the set as Djokovic made an unforced error on the backhand, in what would be a harbinger of things to come.

Alcaraz would hold serve to consolidate the break and lead 2-0, but that would not last long as Djokovic would win the next two games to get back on serve at 2-2, after he had directed some defiance towards the crowd as they got behind the Spaniard.

If the first set was one-sided, this was anything but as the pair traded blows in brutal baseline rallies but it never seemed like Djokovic was not the player in control.

To simply win points Alcaraz was frequently forced to engage in 15 shot rallies as the anticipatory movement of Djokovic and his defensive skills came to the fore.

While that was the case the serves of both players were dominating and the frequent break points traded early dried up as the set went into a tiebreak.

When Djokovic won the opening point and mini break as a brash Alcaraz backhand sailed long it seemed this might be game over, especially as Djokovic had not lost a tiebreak in a slam since round two of the Australian Open, against Frenchman Enzo Couacaud.

Since then he had won 15 straight and when he raced out to a 3-0 lead he was right on top.

But Alcaraz showed maturity beyond his years as the pressure got to Djokovic and the Serb netted a rash drop shot for things to level at 3-all.

At 5-4 to Alcaraz disaster threatened to strike when chair umpire Fergus Murphy gave Djokovic a time violation warning after the serve clock expired on him for at least for the third time in the match.

Djokovic steeled himself though and won the next two points as his fans in the crowd broke out in loud "Nole" chants but then a pair of uncharacteristic backhand unforced errors gave Alcaraz set point.

Djokovic serve volleyed and was passed as the Centre Court crowd gave the Spaniard a standing ovation at the end of an 85 minute set.

26-minute service game breaks Djokovic

Djokovic, who had been annoyed at the crowd earlier in the match, as he sarcastically clapped when they cheered an unforced error of his, did not seem too bothered but soon enough his facade cracked.

When a let cord was called on what he thought would be a winning serve he questioned Murphy and then when he was broken informed the chair umpire what he thought of the time warning.

"Well done at 5-4," Djokovic quipped, referring to the tiebreak.

If that early break was one thing, then the game played at 3-1 to Alcaraz in the third set will go down in the annals of Wimbledon history.

Djokovic was serving as the pair traded blows for an astonishing 32 points and 26 minutes of tennis.

For Djokovic it looked like the equivalent of playing a mirror, except that mirror was 16 years his junior and had the boundless energy of youth, while Djokovic, grand champion that he is, slumped and sagged, and for the first time all tournament looked weary.

He again argued with Murphy over the serve clock, suggesting the chair umpire was starting it too early — that was in the first half of the game.

On the 11th deuce and down break point Djokovic stopped the point on the Alcaraz return and Hawkeye proved him right as he saved a sixth break point.

He could do little soon after thought as a searing Alcaraz backhand pass stopped Djokovic from getting things to 2-3, and a pair of tired forehand unforced errors from the world number two gave Alcaraz a second break.

Djokovic seemed utterly broken, as Alcaraz ripped through eight of the next 10 points in just six minutes to take the third set 6-1 and a two sets to one lead.

Djokovic clawed back for nought

The match would turn again in the fourth, when play got back underway after an extended break as both players took a toilet break, Djokovic's though was longer, as he made Alcaraz wait and perhaps just think about the weight of history.

If he was nervous though, initially Alcaraz did not show it and he was still in the ascendancy but Djokovic rallied, as he once again found the metronomic rhythm that has made him so unbeatable over the years.

The Serb as ever when his back is against the wall rallied his way out of trouble and when he broke the Alcaraz serve for a 3-2 lead after a trio of Alcaraz errors Djokovic took charge again as he blew kisses to the crowd.

From there he was relentless and miserly, making just four unforced errors for the set, as the Spaniard, unable to earn a single break point opportunity in what was left of the set faltered and gave up the set with a double fault.

Still despite all that Alcaraz did what few have ever done and dispatched Djokovic on Wimbledon's Centre Court and extended his career record in five setters to 9-1.

While it ended a chance at a host of records for Djokovic the result was further proof Alcaraz has a massive future and will likely go into his US Open title defence in late August as one of the favourites.



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