Serbian great Novak Djokovic defeated Carlos Alcaraz in an epic final clash to win his third Cincinnati Masters final. Djokovic survived a match point to script a remarkable 5-7, 7-6 (9-7), 7-6 (7-4) win against the Spaniard. With this win, Djokovic managed to extend his ATP Masters 1000 titles record to 39. Overall, Djokovic now has 68 ‘Big Titles’, which include Grand Slam championships, Nitto ATP Finals, ATP Masters 1000 tournaments and Olympic singles gold medals. After the spectacular Cincinnati final, former American tennis player Andy Roddick was in awe of Djokovic, branding him as an “absolute specimen.”
“Novak is an absolute specimen. At 36 years old to be able to go out and do that, especially recovering. Once the sun went down, it changed something. So it was the sun, it was the heat. Then once the conditions became a little more muted, he took some breaks, he figured out a way to ask permission to go and change his clothes,” Roddick told Tennis Channel.
“The umpire said ‘okay’. We can talk all night whether or not that was the right call, but like we can’t be mad at Novak for asking the question. It’s the umpire’s job to enforce the rules. So he shouldn’t take the direct criticism from that and I hope he doesn’t. But finding a way to get through that one way or the other. I thought he [Novak Djokovic] was cooked an hour into the match then all of a sudden you look up and it’s three hours and 50 minutes total time and he looks better than he did in the first set out,” Roddick added.
Carlos Alcaraz started the Cincinnati Masters final fixture on a promising note, winning the first set convincingly. Having survived a match point, Novak Djokovic came roaring back in the second set. The world number two completed his memorable comeback by winning the decisive set in tie-break. Following the emphatic victory, Djokovic tore off his shirt in sheer jubilation, just like former WWE wrestler Hulk Hogan.
Despite the victory, Djokovic could not retain the top spot in the rankings. The 36-year-old will need one more win at the US Open to move to the number one position.
The Cincinnati Open marked Djokovic and Alcaraz’s third meeting of the year. In their first clash, Djokovic had defeated Alcaraz in the French Open semi-final. The Spainard got the better of Djokovic at the Wimbledon final. Djokovic has now had the final laugh at the Cincinnati Masters. Overall, their enticing head-to-head tie stands at 2-2.