The 2023 Wimbledon Men’s Final between world number one Carlos Alcaraz and seven-time champion Novak Djokovic has the makings of a classic every bit as epic as the Roger Federer vs Rafa Nadal finals of 2006, 2007 and 2008, or the great Djokovic vs Federer finals of 2014 and 2019.
Regular news.betzone.co.uk readers have already collected on the 2/1 about an Alcaraz vs Djokovic decider advised pre-tournament. Now we go in search of further reward on the understanding those stumping up for centre court seats are certain to get their money’s worth.
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SW19 showpieces seldom straightforward for Serbian sensation
Djokovic bids for his fifth successive Wimbledon win and his eighth overall, both feats that would see him tie the exploits of all-time great of the grass Federer.
However, given such recent dominance over the record books it’s perhaps surprising that just two of the eight finals he’s contested at the All-England Club to date were won in straight sets – his 2013 loss to Andy Murray and the 2019 win against the overmatched Kevin Anderson.
Of the other six, all of which he’s emerged from victorious, four have gone four sets and five have gone the distance. A repeat of either would likely land the odds on over 39.5 here with four 6-4 sets enough for us to collect.
Both previous encounters between Djokovic and Alcaraz have seen both players pick up at least one set. Indeed the most recent, the Serb’s 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 win at Roland Garros could arguably have been much closer if not for cramp hampering the 20-year-old’s efforts from the third act onwards.
Even Djokovic’s form at this tournament bodes well for 40 games or more given there’s been at least one tie-break in five of the six matches he won through to get to this stage.
Wimbledon finals of the elites usually demand the full five
When Wimbledon’s championship match is contested by the two best players in the world playing at the peak of their powers five sets very often ensues.
The monumental struggles between Federer and Nadal in 2007 and 2008 are two such examples, as are Djokovic’s triumphs over the Swiss maestro in 2014 and 2019.
This match feels like another of those moments, with the history making Serb bidding to extend his lead at the top of the all-time major winners’ list at the expense of the 20-year-old heir apparent to his throne at the pinnacle of the sport.
Djokovic’s unparalleled staying power to win out over Spaniard
For all Djokovic’s technical brilliance, the quality that makes him virtually impossible to defeat in Grand Slams is his sheer resilience – as evidenced by his ability to turn the tide of so many Wimbledon finals.
Alacaraz came face to face with that indefatigability in the French Open semis and the effort to overcome it in the second apparently caused him to unravel, with either his body, his mind or some combination of the two giving out.
Djokovic has lost the opening set in three of this last six Wimbledon finals, including both the last two, and won them all. If this final goes long it feels like only one man will walk away with his hands held aloft.