Djokovic Eyeing Record 24th Grand Slam Singles Title
It doesn’t get much better than this with Carlos Alcaraz, the next big thing in the tennis world, taking on Novak Djokovic, one of the sport’s all-time greats. Djokovic goes after his fifth- straight Wimbledon title listed by the tennis picks as the favorite.
Both Alcaraz, the No. 1 seed, and the second-seeded Djokovic made tennis news when they dispatched of top-10 players in the semifinals to set up the men’s match everybody has been waiting for since the WImbledon draw was announced.
Djokovic can tie Roger Federer for the men’s record of eight singles titles at Wimbledon. Federer won five Wimbledons in a row and that is something Djokovic is trying to accomplish.
During the amateur era, William Renshaw won seven titles and that was matched in the Open era by Pete Sampras before Federer began piling up the Grand Slam titles.
The match is set to start shortly after 9 a.m. ET (2 p.m. in London) and will air live on ESPN.
A No. 1 vs No. 2 Matchup
When it comes to the Wimbledon men’s final preview, keep in mind that the last time the top two seeds met in the Wimbledon men’s final came in 2019 when top-seeded Djokovic topped No. 2 seed Federer in a marathon 7-6, 1-6, 7-6, 4-6, 13-12 match.
It was the same story in 2015 when Djokovic defeated Federer in four sets. In 2013, second-seeded Andy Murray topped No. 1 seed Djokovic in straight sets to win the title. Djokovic, as the No. 2 seed, won in four sets against Nadal in the 2011 final.
There was a five-year stretch when the top two seeds reached the final. The 2008 title match that was won by No. 2 seed Nadal against Federer 6-4, 6-4, 6-7, 6-7, 9-7 is considered to be one of best matches in tennis history.
It looked like it would be the No. 1 and 2 seeded players reaching the 2022 final before an injured Nadal was unable to take the court in the semifinal against unseeded Nick Kyrgios.
Djokovic vs Alcaraz Match Information
- Rankings: Alcaraz 1st; Djokovic 2nd
- 2023 Records: Alcaraz 46-4; Djokovic 33-4
- Location: Centre Court, Wimbledon
- Day/Time: Sunday, July 16, 9:00 a.m. ET
- Television/Streaming: TennisTV
An Eye on the Prize
It seemed rather fitting that Djokovic punched his ticket into Sunday’s Wimbledon final by winning a tiebreaker.
Djokovic is 6-0 in tiebreak sets in this year’s tournament with the quarterfinal showdown with Andrey Rublev the only match played by Djokovic not requiring a tiebreaker. He is 6-0 in tiebreakers at this year’s tournament and has won his last 16 tiebreaks in Grand Slam events.
Djokovic has droppedt two sets in the tournament after dispatching No. 8 seed Jannik Sinner 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 in Friday’s semifinal.
He topped Pedro Cachin, Jordan Thompson, Stan Wawrinka, No. 17 seed Hubert Hurkacz, seventh-seeded Rublev and then Sinner to reach his ninth Wimbledon final. Djokovic had 11 aces and no double faults in the three sets versus Sinner and also saved all six break points.
Djokovic was priced at +120 to win the semifinal in straight sets. Now he is favored to extend his record for the most Grand Slam men’s singles titles.
“It’s no secret that Grand Slams are the highest priority for me, the highest goals on my priority list,” Djokovic said. “Every time I start the season, I want to peak at these four tournaments. I try to organize my schedule, training schedule, and my preparation weeks, and all the tournaments, according to these priorities.
“I have a good team of people around me. We do things in a proper way on a daily basis. I think that gives us benefits when we get to the later stages of a Grand Slam. Most of the players are probably exhausted a bit physically, mentally, or maybe they don’t feel like they can go a step further.”
A Changing of the Guard?
After failing to get past the fourth round in his previous two trips to Wimbledon, 20-year-old Alcaraz will play in his first Wimbledon final after a 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 win over No. 3 seed Daniil Medvedev.
Alcaraz has lost two sets in his first six matches. The only time he lost the opening set came against unranked Matteo Berrettini in the Round of 16. This will be his second Grand Slam final after he won the 2022 US Open.
Alcaraz took out sixth-seeded Holger Rune and now Medvedev without dropping a set. He had 27 winners and 17 unforced errors in the semifinal win. Alcaraz was broken late in the third set before breaking back so he could serve for the match. Now he gets to face Djokovic with a chance to win his first title at Wimbledon.
“It gives you extra motivation,” Alcaraz said. “I think it’s more special to play a final against a legend from our sport. If I win, it would be amazing for me – not only to win a Wimbledon title but to do it against Novak would be super special.
“I always say if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best. Novak is one of them. Would be great if I’ll do it.”
Alcaraz is 46-4 this year as he goes after his sixth title in 2023. He will be the underdog for the first time in the tournament in Sunday’s championship match.
Alcaraz v Djokovic Head-to-Head
This will be the third time that Djokovic and Alcaraz will be meeting and the first time in a championship match.
Alcaraz won 6-7, 7-5, 7-6 in the 2022 Madrid semifinals with Djokovic taking the rematch 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 in the French Open semifinals earlier this year.
Alcaraz was slowed by cramping issues on that day and he will need to avoid a similar fate.
What’s At Stake?
Djokovic looks to extend his record by winning his 24th Grand Slam men’s singles title and he goes after his eighth Wimbledon title.
Alcaraz is eyeing his second Grand Slam title and to do so before turning 21 is especially impressive.
The winner of the match will be the top-ranked player when the new ATP rankings are released.
After a disappointing ending to their first meeting in a Grand Slam at the French Open, the fans can hope that this showdown lives up to the hype.
Alcaraz vs Djokovic Betting Preview
Djokovic is priced at -105 to win the first set and the match with the odds for Alcaraz to take the first set and take the Wimbledon title coming in at +240. Keep an eye on the live betting numbers after the first set is over.
The first set is expected to feature little in the way of service breaks according to the tennis betting lines with Alcaraz at +400 to have more than 1.5 service breaks compared to a +300 number for Djokovic to do the same.
The Las Vegas odds are at -230 for there to be at least one tiebreak and Alcaraz would prefer to see that number go under based on Djokovic’s impressive record in tiebreaks in Grand Slams.
There will come a time soon when Alcaraz is the player to beat at the Grand Slam, regardless of the competition. However, it is hard to go against Djokovic.