Now he showed his strength on the grass, against the best players in the most prestigious tournament in the world. During an on-court celebration after the match, Djokovic, who grumbled when he mentioned his son, praised Alcaraz. He noted that, yes, he knew Alcaraz would be an instant force on red clay and blue paint. Now, the grass too? actually?
“I didn’t expect him to play so well this year on grass,” said Djokovic. “But he has proven that he is the best player in the world without a doubt. He plays some great tennis on different surfaces and deserves to be where he is.”
Even before the racket was smashed, there was another stretching moment in which Djokovic may have gotten a hint that he’s been around for a challenging few years.
With Djokovic leading 1-3 in the third set, the two men played a 32-point match with 13 draws that lasted 26 minutes. Both players ran, swayed and made amazing shots, and the crowd reveled in the exceptional play and courage displayed.
“The nerve that Alcaraz showed was absolutely remarkable,” Evert said.
Finally, after Djokovic slammed a forehand home, Alcaraz broke again. He put his finger to his ear, begging the crowd for more noise, and there Djokovic had to know. For as many years as possible, the Alcaraz will probably be there too, even on the lawn.
“I think it’s good for the sport, 1 and 2 in the world face each other in almost five hours, five exciting sets,” said Djokovic. “It couldn’t be better for our sport in general.”