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World of Sport

16th Jul 2023

Novak Djokovic breaks down in tears after losing Wimbledon classic to Carlos Alcaraz

Patrick McCarry

Novak Djokovic

One moment saw the Djokovic facade crumble.

For the first time since 2013, Novak Djokovic lost on the Centre Court of Wimbledon, after playing his part in an all-time classic men’s singles final against Carlos Alcaraz.

The most successful men’s tennis player started off well in the opening set but soon discovered he was in for a dog-fight. The game finished 1-6 7-6 (8-6) 6-1 3-6 6-4 to the Spaniard, who served out in style to win his first ever Wimbledon title.

Djokovic left it all out there in a game that neared five hours, and received a couple of reprimands from the umpire, including for the moment he smashed his racket after losing serve in the final set. By the time it came around to make his concession speech, the Serb had composed himself.

“Good afternoon to everyone,” he began. “Not so good for me but good for Carlos. I have to start with praises to Carlos and his team. What a quality at the end of the match when you had to serve it out. You came up with some big plays in the big situation and you absolutely deserve it. Amazing.

“I thought I would have trouble with you only on clay and hard court, but not on grass! Now it’s a different story from this year obviously. Congrats; amazing way to adapt to the surface [that] you played maybe one or twice. Amazing, what you did in Queens and congratulations to everybody in your team.

“As for me, you never like to lose matches like these but I guess when all the emotions are settled I’ll have to be very grateful. I won many tight and close matches in the past here, to name a few. 2019 against Roger [Federer]. Maybe I should have lost a few finals that I won so maybe this is even stevens.”

Novak Djokovic breaks down

Reflecting on how long it would take to get over this rare Wimbledon final loss, Novak Djokovic said, “I will be [okay] tomorrow morning probably but today, not so much.

“Tough one to swallow when you are so close. These are the moment that we work for every day to play on the biggest stages and biggest courts and most important tournaments in the world.

“I’ve been blessed with so many incredible matches throughout my career. I’m really grateful. I lost to a better player and I have to move on stronger.”

When he was asked if he had a message for his team, up in one of the boxes, Djokovic looked up and noticed his young son. He commented:

“It’s nice to see my son still there, still smiling.”

He then paused, overcome with emotion, before checking his tears and saying, “I love you, thank you for supporting me and we can all have a big hug, and love each other. Thank you.”

“It’s a dream come true for me,” reflected winner Carlos Alcaraz. “I said before it would be so good to win but even if would have lost I would be really proud of myself.

“Making history in this beautiful tournament, playing a final against a legend of the sport. It’s a dream come true.”

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