Cincinnati, August 20, 2023 – Novak Djokovic‘s thirst for revenge was finally quenched in a scintillating showdown at the Cincinnati Open final, as he conquered the formidable challenge posed by Carlos Alcaraz to secure his third Cincinnati Masters title and an unprecedented 39th Masters 1000 trophy. The dramatic clash unfolded under the blazing Ohio sun at the Lindner Family Tennis Center, where Djokovic displayed his unparalleled resilience by saving a championship point in a breathtaking comeback, triumphing with a scoreline of 5-7, 7-6(7), 7-6(4).
The pulsating match marked a remarkable turnaround for Djokovic, who had endured a 35-day wait to avenge his Wimbledon defeat against the talented Alcaraz. In an atmosphere charged with anticipation and witnessed by an electrified Centre Court crowd, Djokovic’s victory unfolded amidst sweltering temperatures reaching a searing 35 degrees.
The encounter showcased a battle of wills, stamina, and skill, lasting a grueling 3 hours and 49 minutes – making it the longest ATP level best-of-three-sets final in the last eight years. Djokovic’s perseverance paid off as he not only exacted his revenge but also carved his name in history by clinching his 39th Masters 1000 title.
Djokovic’s journey to the final was characterized by impeccable form, having navigated his path without conceding a single set. However, Alcaraz disrupted this dominance by claiming the opening set and further consolidating his lead with a break of serve in the second set.
The match’s turning point arrived with Djokovic visibly struggling in the relentless Cincinnati heat. Alcaraz seemed poised to seize victory in straight sets, only to falter in a crucial service game that allowed Djokovic to re-enter the contest. Despite Djokovic’s apparent exhaustion, a revitalized surge led to a break back at 4-4 and a championship point save at 6/7 in the tie-break, igniting a thrilling comeback.
In a see-sawing battle of resilience and nerve, Djokovic forced a deciding set where Alcaraz initially stumbled in his fourth service game. Alcaraz demonstrated his own mettle by saving four championship points, including two on serve and two while striving to break back. However, the final tie-break belonged to Djokovic, who showcased his mastery under pressure to clinch the title.
The Cincinnati Open final marked the third meeting between Djokovic and Alcaraz in the last two months, with Djokovic prevailing twice. After Djokovic’s triumph in their French Open semi-final encounter in June, Alcaraz had stunningly reversed the outcome in an enthralling five-setter at SW19. Their head-to-head record now stands at 2-2, adding further intrigue to their burgeoning rivalry.
As Djokovic basked in the glory of his triumphant comeback, the Cincinnati Open bore witness to a historic clash that will undoubtedly be etched in the annals of tennis lore. With his indomitable spirit and unparalleled skills, Djokovic showcased his championship pedigree once again, etching his name into the hearts of fans worldwide.