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Carlos Alcaraz, 20, beats Novak Djokovic in thrilling five-set Wimbledon final - denying Serb record victory
16 July 2023, 18:53 | Updated: 16 July 2023, 19:31
Carlos Alcaraz has beaten tennis legend Novak Djokovic in five sets to win his first Wimbledon title and deny his Serbian opponent a record eighth tournament win.
The Spaniard beat Djokovic in a thrilling final on Centre Court in SW19 to win his first Wimbledon title and second Grand Slam at the age of 20.
Djokovic was chasing a record eighth Wimbledon title but it would not materialise for the controversial great as he was bested despite winning the first set 6-1.
Djokovic squandered a break point for 2-0 in the fifth set when he slammed what looked a certain winner into the net.
It proved costly, as in the next game Alcaraz forced the break to prompt Djokovic to smash his racket into the net post.
Djokovic's reign as champion was over after Alcaraz served out for a 1-6 7-6 (6) 6-1 3-6 6-4 victory in four hours and 42 minutes.
Alcaraz said that it was a dream come true for him to win in south-west London - having previously admitted that he has coveted the gold trophy since he was a boy.
Film stars Brad Pitt and Daniel Craig were among those watching from the stands as Novak Djokovic attempted to defend his Wimbledon title against Carlos Alcaraz.
Academy Award-winning actor Pitt was in England last weekend, appearing at the Silverstone Circuit ahead of the British Grand Prix, to film scenes for his forthcoming Formula 1 feature film.
Alcaraz, who has added Wimbledon to his US Open title, said: "Well it's a dream come true for me. It's great to win but even if I had lost I would have been really proud of myself, playing a final against a legend of our sport.
"After the first set I thought 'hmmm... Carlos increase the level'. I have to congratulate Novak. I started playing tennis watching you. When I was born you were already winning tournaments. But 36 is the new 26. It's amazing."
Spain's King Felipe was in the royal box supporting his country's new star.
"It's special to play here in front of royalty. I am really proud you are here supporting me. You've come to watch me twice and I won, so I hope you come some more."
Djokovic, beaten on Centre Court for the first time in 10 years, said to the crowd: "Good afternoon. Not so good for me but good for Carlos.
"I have to praise to Carlos and his team. Quality at the end of the match, you served it out and you deserved it. I thought I'd only have trouble with you on clay or hard court, not on grass. Amazing, what you did in Queen's and here.
"As for me you never like to lose matches like this but when all the emotions have settled I still have to be very grateful. I've won many close matches here down the years, maybe I should have lost a couple of finals that I won so it's 'Even Stevens'.
"It's a tough one to swallow when you are so close. I lost to the better player and I have to congratulate him and move on."
Djokovic welled up when he saw his son Stefan and said: "Thank you for supporting me."
With his victory, Carlos Alcaraz has become the first person outside of the 'big four' to win the Wimbledon men's singles title since 2002.
Lleyton Hewitt lifted his first title on July 7 of that year, but since then only Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray have secured the crown.