Djokovic exacts revenge on Alcaraz after claiming Cincinnati championship trophy

What a win for the world’s most decorated male tennis player (

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

Lawn tennis’ biggest rivalry just got bigger.

After succumbing to a five-set loss against the uprising Carlos Alcaraz of Spain during the Wimbledon grand finals, Novak Djokovic completed his payback and outdueled him during the ATP Masters 1000 Cincinnati- 5.7, 7.6, 7.6- and bagged the prestigious major title last August 20, 2023.

With the scintillating win, the Serbian maestro just equalized his head-to-head matchup against Alcaraz to 2-2 since meeting at the center of the court last 2022 at the ATP Masters 1000 in Madrid, Spain.

It was what the crowd expected from the sport’s two big stars. Three thrilling sets with each game point all coming down to a crucial sequence from long baseline rally exchanges to power stroke back-and-forth.

Trailing 2-4 early in the first set, the young Spanish ace proved why he is the world no. 1 male tennis player after pulling off a stellar comeback.

Known for his never-say-die attitude and the ability to adjust midgame with what the court conditions give the players, Alcaraz kept punching back and turned the tables with back-to-back crucial set-point saves.

From a 2-4 deficit, Alcaraz’s magic weaved through the court and frustrated Djokovic when he stole the first set.

The last two sets came down to the wire as Djokovic became more patient with his offensive approach and mixed it up with a few of defensive forehands that kept Alcaraz’s rhythm disrupted.

Djokovic’s strategy paid off in the second set and forced Alcaraz to a huge backhand error that made his 9-7 tiebreak win possible and carried a huge momentum to the third and final set.

It was another Alcaraz comeback show in the third set after equalizing the match at 5-all from a 3-5 deficit. Just when the Spanish youngster thought he could sustain his difficult attacking angles in the finale tiebreaker, Djokovic flipped the switch and made a major adjustment.

Alcaraz started to throw defensive lob forehands to preserve his energy, hoping that Djokovic will commit any error just like in their Wimbledon clash.

However, the record-holder for the most Grand Slam titles won in the male category came prepared and answered back with his own lobs.

The result then reversed their fortunes as it was Alcaraz who committed the mistakes midway through the third set which allowed Djokovic to capitalize and kick off his baseline attacks.

Alcaraz was able to catch up and tie the affair at 4-all but Djokovic held him scoreless in the next three rallies to grab a 7-4 tiebreak victory.

“This was one of the most exciting matches I’ve ever played in any tournament. It felt like a Grand Slam,” said Djokovic after his three-hour championship win.