Now he’s showing his mettle on the grass against the best players in the world’s most prestigious tournament. During the post-match on-court ceremony, Djokovic broke down in tears talking about his son, but politely praised Alcaraz. He said he certainly knew Alcaraz would be ready to go with red clay and blue paint. Now, grass too? already?
“I didn’t expect him to play so well on the grass this year,” Djokovic said. “But he’s definitely proven to be the best player in the world. He’s playing great tennis on a variety of surfaces and deserves to be where he is.”
Even before the racket smash, there was another moment that might have given Djokovic a signal that things were going to be tough for him in the years to come.
Djokovic served 1-3 in the third set, with the two battling for 32 points in 13 deuces that lasted over 26 minutes. Both players ran and dived and scored some great shots, and the crowd roared with delight at their exceptional guts.
“The nerve Alcaraz showed was absolutely amazing,” Ebert said.
Finally, Alcaraz broke serve again after Djokovic smashed a forehand into the net. He put his finger to his ear and asked the crowd to make more noise, but Djokovic needed to know there. For as many years as he can bear, Alcaraz will probably be there on the lawn as well.
“I think it’s good for the sport to have the No. 1 and No. 2 in the world in a five-set thriller for almost five hours,” Djokovic said. “For our sport in general, it couldn’t be better.”