Twen­ty-year-old Spaniard Car­los Alcaraz scored a resound­ing vic­to­ry over sev­en-time Wim­ble­don cham­pi­on Novak Djokovic and won his first title at this pres­ti­gious tour­na­ment. Alcaraz’s vic­to­ry was espe­cial­ly impres­sive giv­en his rel­a­tive inex­pe­ri­ence and Djokovic’s incred­i­ble achieve­ments. Putting it into con­text, there are five amaz­ing moments that led the Spaniard to vic­to­ry.

Beginners are lucky

A streak of vic­to­ries in 34 match­es since 2017, a tour­na­ment record of 92–10, not a sin­gle defeat on Cen­ter Court for more than 10 years — all these are Djokovic’s sta­tis­tics with which he came to the Wim­ble­don final match with Alcaraz. The Ser­bian’s expe­ri­ence at the All Eng­land Club stood in stark con­trast to that of his oppo­nent, who was mak­ing just his third appear­ance at Wim­ble­don and just his fourth on grass.

More­over, the Spaniard’s progress on grass is obvi­ous: before fight­ing Djokovic on Cen­ter Court, he won an impres­sive vic­to­ry in the Roy­al Club tour­na­ment.

Pressure of experience

Alcaraz had to over­come more than just his lack of expe­ri­ence on Cen­ter Court at Wim­ble­don. After all, this is only his sec­ond Grand Slam match after his vic­to­ry at the 2022 US Open. By com­par­i­son, Djokovic made his 35th Grand Slam final appear­ance and broke for­mer WTA star Chris Evert’s all-time record.

But when Alcaraz des­per­ate­ly tried to get into the game in the first set, the Ser­bian raced to a 6–1 lead, increas­ing the pres­sure on his oppo­nent. Com­ing into the match, Djokovic already had an impres­sive record of 15 wins and 3 loss­es in finals after win­ning the first set, which made Alcaraz’s sub­se­quent win even more impres­sive.

Revenge for Roland Garros

Just five weeks before the Wim­ble­don meet­ing, Alcaraz had already played against Djokovic in the semi-finals of Roland Gar­ros. The Span­ish ten­nis play­er lat­er admit­ted that it was a dif­fi­cult match for him. Such a state­ment cast seri­ous doubt on his abil­i­ty to com­pete with Djokovic on Cen­ter Court.

How­ev­er, it was he who defeat­ed the Ser­bian ten­nis play­er, one of the strongest and most resilient oppo­nents in the his­to­ry of sports. Alcaraz won the deci­sive 27-minute set 3–1 in the third set and showed supe­ri­or fit­ness, mak­ing 18 win­ners com­pared to Djokovic’s three in the decid­ing set.

Overcome the impossible

Djokovic’s psy­cho­log­i­cal dom­i­nance dur­ing tiebreaks has been a key part of his Grand Slam suc­cess in 2023. By the sec­ond set against Alcaraz, the 36-year-old had achieved 15 con­sec­u­tive Grand Slam tiebreak vic­to­ries dat­ing back to his Aus­tralian Open sec­ond-round meet­ing with Enzo Cuco in Jan­u­ary this year.

The last six of those 15 vic­to­ries came dur­ing Wim­ble­don, but Alcaraz end­ed that streak at the most unex­pect­ed moment. With the score 5:6 in favor of the Serb in the sec­ond set tiebreak, the Spaniard made a set point and then scored three points in a row to lev­el the score and ful­ly feel the will to win.

Survive after the fifth

Every­one knows Djokovic’s abil­i­ty to show max­i­mum pres­sure towards the end of the game. He has won his last four five-set Grand Slam finals this way, beat­ing Roger Fed­er­er at Wim­ble­don in 2014 and 2019, Dominic Thiem at the Aus­tralian Open in 2020 and Ste­fanos Tsit­si­pas at Roland Gar­ros in 2021.

Whether Alcaraz was aware of this record-break­ing sta­tis­tic from Djokovic, we do not know. How­ev­er, the Spaniard fear­less­ly stood up to the 23-time major win­ner in the decid­ing set. And so we have a 20-year-old who beat a Ser­bian in a five-set Grand Slam final for the first time since Andy Mur­ray at the US Open in 2012.