Player Features

Serving For Wimbledon Title, Alcaraz Recalled Djokovic's Comeback vs. Federer

The Spaniard discusses his historic triumph at Wimbledon
July 18, 2023
Carlos Alcaraz is the third youngest player to win the Wimbledon men's singles title after Boris Becker and Bjorn Borg.
Corinne Dubreuil para ATP Tour
Carlos Alcaraz is the third youngest player to win the Wimbledon men's singles title after Boris Becker and Bjorn Borg. By Rafael Plaza

The morning after winning Wimbledon, Carlos Alcaraz’s telephone is still ringing off the hook. Messages continue to flood in on WhatsApp, Instagram and Twitter; everyone from Serena Williams to Will Smith, Fernando Alonso, Michael Phelps, Naomi Osaka, Ben Stiller and Sebastián Yatra, have sent their congratulations to the new champ.

However, there is one message that stands out from the rest; that of 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal, one of the 20-year-old’s heroes.

“Congratulations on the win!”, the Mallorcan wrote to the new Wimbledon champion. “Enjoy it because these moments are magical and unique,” added the Spanish star, who also sent Alcaraz a message before the final to wish him luck for his clash with Djokovic.

This is the new reality of the World No. 1, and it is one that will continue to grow with every new conquest. On Sunday, during the final against Djokovic, Brad Pitt, Emma Watson, Rachel Weiss, Daniel Craig, James Norton and King Felipe VI of Spain were among the spectators on Centre Court, enjoying the title match.

“I’m not used to it!” explains Alcaraz on Monday morning, his Wimbledon trophy sitting on the windowsill. “When you’re playing in the match you don’t realise so many people have gone to see it. Of course, I saw the King of Spain, but not many others. Once everything was over, I was looking at my phone and I couldn’t believe so many artists were at the final supporting and watching tennis.”

You May Also Like: Five Stunning Aspects To Alcaraz’s Wimbledon Win Against Djokovic

In the house Alcaraz and his loved ones have stayed in during the two weeks of Wimbledon, just a few metres from the All England Club, the Spaniard’s family are packing their bags while most of his team climb in to an official car to the airport. It is the day after the historic final, and many are keen to return home as soon as possible after a long night of celebrations and almost an entire month in London.

“We finished very late, so I haven’t had much time to rest,” explained Alcaraz, who despite everything is showing no visible signs of tiredness. “This morning I’ve had things to do from early, but I’m fine, I’m still on cloud nine. I think I’ll be there for many days. Winning Wimbledon is a dream come true, it’ll be hard to come down from the clouds.”

Alcaraz started his ascent to those clouds in September last year, when he won his first Grand Slam at the US Open, becoming the youngest No. 1 in Pepperstone ATP Rankings history in the process. It seems impossible, but at just 20 years of age, he has already won 12 titles, including Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid (twice), the US Open and Wimbledon.

“Everything’s going very fast,” agreed the Spaniard. “I’m achieving my dreams at breakneck speed. A lot of things are happening to me in a short space of time, but I’m working very hard for it. I’ve sacrificed certain things to be in my current position. This is how things have turned out and it’s wonderful. Achieving the dreams I’ve had since I was little, at 20 years of age.”

The Official App Of Tennis | Download ATP WTA Live App

Even though things are going lightning fast, Alcaraz is doing nothing to stop it. Quite the opposite. He is working harder than ever to ensure things do not change, and the results are there for everyone to see. After losing his Roland Garros semi-final to Djokovic, where he was unable to compete as he would like in the third and fourth sets due to the cramps that were caused by his nerves, the Spaniard promised to do just what he always has: to learn for next time. And he proved he had done just that at Wimbledon.

“I’m a guy who learns from his mistakes,” said Alcaraz. “When I do something wrong, I try to learn from it so that next time it doesn’t happen again. Before the match, I handled it differently, I prepared differently,” he added. “I also approached the match from a different angle. I think that was how I was able to hold on and beat Djokovic. It really helped me, that kind of resistance is purely mental.”

That mental strength was never more evident than in the fifth set, when the Spaniard sat on his bench before serving for the championship.

“I was trying to be calm and serene,” admits Alcaraz. “Keeping my mind blank. When I got up, I felt butterflies in my stomach and my legs. It’s difficult to handle. I thought about getting the first serve in and... I was thinking in my head that it was normal to feel nervous closing out the match,” he added, before revealing something else that crossed his mind; the two match points Roger Federer had in 2019 to win Wimbledon, which Djokovic saved heroically before taking down the Swiss.

“I’ve watched a lot of tennis,” explained the Spaniard. “For someone like Federer to lose that final... I think that’s so tough. I told myself: ‘Please, don’t let that happen to you. Do whatever it takes.’ But I did think about it at that moment.”

Then, of course, came the sweet moment of triumph; match point, victory, joy.

“Probably the best moment was after winning,” said Alcaraz. “When it was over, I wasn’t thinking, my mind was blank, I simply went through the motions: I threw myself to the ground and just wanted to hug my team, celebrate it with my people. My mind didn’t say ‘Wow, I’ve won Wimbledon, I’ve achieved my dream.’ It was simply a question of going through the motions.”

Follow The Cast Of ATP Tour | Break Point

Despite having beaten Djokovic in the fifth set of the Wimbledon final, the Murcia native is in no doubt that this does not mark the beginning of a new era.

“No, no,” he replied assuredly. “As long as Rafa and Djokovic are still playing there can’t be a change of era. When they retire, then maybe we can talk about it again, but now is not the time. As I always say, I don’t play for anyone, just for myself, for my family and my team. I don’t do it so that a new era starts. I try to avoid people’s expectations, because that’s more pressure. If I pay attention to all of that... After the match my feeling is that I’m ready to handle these kinds of situations, to play epic matches with great legends on the big stages.”

Read More News View All News

View Related Videos View All Videos


Get it on Google Play Download on the App Store

Premier Partner

Platinum Partners

Gold Partners

Official Ball, Racquet and Tennis Accessory

Official Partners & Suppliers