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Alcaraz dethrones Djokovic as Wimbledon champion

Spain's Carlos Alcaraz celebrates beating Serbia's Novak Djokovic in the men's singles final at Wimbledon.
Spain's Carlos Alcaraz celebrates beating Serbia's Novak Djokovic in the men's singles final at Wimbledon. Photo: AFP

Carlos Alcaraz heralded the changing of the guard in men's tennis as he ended Novak Djokovic's long reign at Wimbledon with a rip-roaring 1-6 7-6(6) 6-1 3-6 6-4 victory to win the All England Club title for the first time on Sunday.

The 36-year-old Serbian had been indestructible on Wimbledon's Centre Court for a decade but on Sunday he finally met his match as he ran out of ideas to stop young gun Alcaraz from hurtling towards the title.

After the 20-year-old had broken for a 2-1 lead in the fifth set with a stupendous passing shot winner, Djokovic's racket felt the full force of his anger as he smashed it against the wooden net post to leave it in a mangled mess.

That earned Djokovic a second warning in the match, with the Serb also being cautioned earlier for taking too much time to launch into his serves.

But all that distraction failed to throw an inspired Alcaraz off course as he became the youngest man in 37 years to win the gilded Challenge Cup after Djokovic scooped a forehand into the net, leaving the Spaniard to collapse on to his back in his moment of triumph.

Age: 20

Country: Spain

ATP ranking: 1

Seeding: 1

Grand Slam titles: 2 (U.S. Open 2022, Wimbledon 2023)

Road to final

First round: Jeremy Chardy (France) 6-0 6-2 7-5

Second round: Alexandre Muller (France) 6-4 7-6(2) 6-3

Third round: 25-Nicolas Jarry (Chile) 6-3 6-7(6) 6-3 7-5

Round of 16: Matteo Berrettini (Italy) 3-6 6-3 6-3 6-3

Quarter-finals: 6-Holger Rune (Denmark) 7-6(3) 6-4 6-4

Semi-finals: 3-Daniil Medvedev (Russia) 6-3 6-3 6-3

Early life

* Alcaraz started playing at the Real Sociedad Club de Campo de Murcia, where his father, Carlos Alcaraz Gonzalez, was the tennis academy director, before making his ATP main-draw debut at 16 in the 2020 Rio Open.

Career to date

* He became the youngest men's quarter-finalist in the Open Era at the U.S. Open in 2021.

* He became the first teenager to beat Rafa Nadal and Djokovic in the same tournament when he defeated the duo, who share 45 Grand Slams between them, on consecutive days to win his second ATP Masters 1000 title at the Madrid Open in 2022.

* He defeated fifth-seeded Norwegian Casper Ruud to clinch his first major title at Flushing Meadows in 2022, becoming the youngest champion at the hardcourt tournament since American Pete Sampras (19) in 1990.

* He is the youngest world number one in ATP rankings history.

* He won nine titles as a teenager and is behind only Bjorn Borg, Nadal, Mats Wilander, Boris Becker and Andre Agassi.

* Beat Djokovic to win Wimbledon and become the first player outside the men's 'Big Four' (Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal and Andy Murray) to win the Challenge Cup since 2002.

- Reuters