The match that everyone waited for, the clash of two titans, the 51st meeting between the first and second seeded player in the men's final at a Grand Slam tournament. Two highest-ranked players on the ATP Tour, the experienced Djokovic going for his 24th Grand Slam and the 20-year-old prodigy trying to stop him and write his own history.
Djokovic, undefeated since 2013 on the Centre Court at Wimbledon, and Alcaraz, who knew that he wasn't the favourite in the final. Everyone, including the two protagonists, knew that whoever wins this match, will create their own piece of history.
In their first meeting on the ATP Tour, the young Spaniard defeated the experienced Serb in Madrid last year, but the 23-time Grand Slam champion avenged that loss this year at Roland Garros. Now, it was time for their first meeting on the grass.
Alcaraz knew that he had to forget all the statistics and achievements of his opponent in this match, and he managed to do that in the first set, but only in the first game. The 20-year-old came out firing and even had a break point in the opening game, but it remained unused.
Similarly to how he started his match against Jannik Sinner in the semifinal, Djokovic broke his opponent's serve after saving a break point, but this time, the Serb added one more break of serve, and at 5-0 in the opening set, it seemed that the nerves got hold of the youngster once again.
As experienced as he is, the 36-year-old didn't lose his massive lead in the first set, winning it 6-1. But the World No. 1 knew that he had to get back into the match by winning the second set against the seven-time Wimbledon champion, who played a record-breaking 35th Grand Slam final, as he lost only one match in his career after leading by two sets.
And Alcaraz managed to do exactly that, but once again, it didn't last too long. After breaking the Serb in the second game, the man, who entered the match undefeated in Grand Slams in 2023, broke back immediately.
The young Spaniard vowed to find ways to beat the legend that was standing on the other side of the net, and he got a chance to do that in the second set. After players traded breaks, they both held their serves and the set had to be decided in a tie-break.
When it comes to tie-breaks, Djokovic seemed to be unbeatable in 2023, and he even broke one of Roger Federer's records at Roland Garros. He was confident of his prowess in tie-breaks also after his win over Jannik Sinner, but the youngster was determined to change that.
But he didn't start well, losing already the first point with an unforced error. The Serb then led 3-0, but Alcaraz showed once again that he's the man and turned the tie-break again to win it 8-6 and become the first man to beat the Serb in a tie-break since January.
It was game on after that, and the only thing that fans of tennis then hoped for was that the 20-year-old won't start cramping again as he did in Paris. He didn't and he started in the best possible way in the third set of the match.
Djokovic practiced a Balkan folk tradition for luck ahead of the match, but he seemed to be missing that in the third set. After Alcaraz went up by a break, he had two break points in the fourth game, but after those remained unused, the real show started.
26 minutes and five seconds was the duration of the longest game of this match, and the top seed had seven break points in it. Eventually, he used his seventh chance to go up by two breaks and control the third set to win it 6-1.
After the third set, the Serb left the court for more than six minutes, and his opponent kept waiting as Djokovic returned to the shower of boos from some of the impatient spectators on the Centre Court.
The young Spaniard had two chances to break his opponent in the fourth set and come incredibly close to winning already in four sets, but he couldn't do it. On the other hand, Djokovic managed to use his third break point in the fifth game, and sealed it with a kiss to one of the fans. After that, he controlled the rest of the set, winning it 6-3 and sending the 2023 Wimbledon final into the decider.
When playing five sets in a Grand Slam final, Djokovic managed to win on five out of six occasions, with his last loss coming at the 2012 US Open to Andy Murray. On the other hand, it was the first five-set experience in the Grand Slam final for the Spanish player.
But the fifth set started better for the Spaniard. Alcaraz saved a break point in the second game, after not using his chance in the first game, and broke Djokovic's serve in the third game. The Serb took out his frustration on the net post, receiving already second warning after the match after the previous time violation.
He seemed to struggle with his wrist after that, possibly injuring himself while smashing the racquet, and the 2022 US Open champion held to love to confirm the break, leading already 3-1 in the deciding set of the match.
Despite trying his best and using all of his experience, Djokovic was unable to turn the match around. Alcaraz controlled his service games to win the match 1-6, 7-6(6), 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 in four hours and 43 minutes to win the 2023 Wimbledon Championships, lift his second Grand Slam title, and stop his opponent from making history at Wimbledon.
He didn't just stop Djokovic from matching Margaret Court's 24 Grand Slam titles and getting another step closer to completing a Calendar Grand Slam, but since it was the match for the World No. 1 spot too, the Spaniard also made sure that he'll be the highest-ranked man in the ATP Rankings on Monday.