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Novak Djokovic beats Carlos Alcaraz in straight sets in battle between No. 1 and No. 2 at ATP Finals
The top-ranked Djokovic is now a win away from the record-breaking seventh ATP Finals title of his career.
Published Nov 18, 2023
Novak Djokovic has beaten Carlos Alcaraz, 6-3, 6-2, in a clash between the Top 2 players in the world in the semifinals of the ATP Finals.
The No. 1-ranked Djokovic is now a win away from his record-breaking seventh ATP Finals title—he’ll face Jannik Sinner in the final on Sunday.
“Best match of the tournament for me without a doubt,” Djokovic said. “It came at the right time, really, after spending a lot of hours on the court in the first three matches. I didn’t know how I’m going to feel.
“But tonight from the very beginning I felt the ball well. I was approaching the match with the right attitude, right mentality.”
There was little between the two players in the first half hour of the match as they traded holds through the first seven games, but that’s when Djokovic pounced, winning five of the next six games—including the first two breaks of the match—to go up a set and a break, 6-3, 3-1.
Alcaraz held to close the gap to 3-2 and even brought up double break point with Djokovic serving at 15-40 in the next game, but the six-time ATP Finals champion dug out the hold for 4-2, broke again for 5-2 and then served it out, finishing it off with an emphatic spike overhead.
Alcaraz had the bigger numbers in the match, 22 winners to 22 unforced errors, but Djokovic finished with the better numbers, hitting 11 winners to just eight—yes, just eight—unforced errors.
And perhaps the biggest stat: Djokovic saved all four break points he faced. He converted three of his own eight break point chances.
“I knew that from the very first point it’s going to be high intensity,” Djokovic said. “He had break points right away, 15-40 in the first game—that’s Carlos, he always brings out his best in these kinds of matches, and starts with a lot of high quality tennis, a lot of intensity.
“So you’ve got to match that, try to kind of weather the storm, and I did that, served well in important moments, and I think the match shifted or turned around when it was 4-3, I think, when I made a break with new balls. He missed a couple of backhands and gave me the break, and from that moment onwards I really played flawless tennis.”
Having already won the Australian Open, Roland Garros and the US Open this year—and reached the final of Wimbledon, falling to Alcaraz—Djokovic is now the first man to reach the final of all four Grand Slams and the ATP Finals in the same year since himself in 2015.
Only two men have achieved the feat, and they've both done it twice.
FINALS AT ALL FOUR GRAND SLAMS AND ATP FINALS IN SAME YEAR:
- 2006: Federer (won them all except Roland Garros)
- 2007: Federer (won them all except Roland Garros)
- 2015: Djokovic (won them all except Roland Garros)
- 2023: Djokovic (won them all so far except Wimbledon)
Awaiting Djokovic in the final will be a rematch against the No. 4-ranked player in the world, Sinner, who beat him in the round-robin stage of the tournament in a three-hour-plus epic, 7-5, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (2).
Players who met in the round-robin stage of the ATP Finals have played each other again in the final 19 times before, and the loser of the round-robin match has actually won 11 of those 19 rematches.
Djokovic has been involved in three of those rematch scenarios himself:
- 2008: beat Davydenko in round robin, beat him again in final
- 2015: lost to Federer in round robin, beat him in final
- 2018: beat Zverev in round robin, lost to him in final