It was the match that everyone wanted to see at the 2023 ATP Finals, the most-anticipated matchup of the tournament. The Spaniard called his opponent "the best player in the world" ahead of the showdown, and the respect was mutual.
But none of the players wanted to bring too much of the respect onto the court in Pala Alpitour in Turin. The Spaniard certainly didn't do that early on, serving perfectly early on, and troubling Djokovic in his first few service games.
However, Alcaraz wasn't able to use his two break points in the opening set, and he also couldn't translate a 30-0 lead on his opponent's serve in the fifth game into a break. He served perfectly, but a weaker moment came, and the 24-time Grand Slam champion knew it would come.
In the eighth game of the opening set, Djokovic kept the same intensity, maybe even increased it a little bit, while the world no. 2 struggled to keep up with the pace, in what was a below-average match from the Spanish player.
Nick Kyrgios predicted Djokovic to win the match, and early in the second set, it was becoming clear why. The Serbian broke his opponent's serve once more, this time leading already 2-1, with another break to go into a 4-1 lead.
Yet, the 20-year-old was able to save that break point to create two break chances for himself in the next game, which was undoubtedly the best game of the match. But it wasn't enough against Djokovic, who saved both, and after one of the best rallies in the match, broke again.
After that, Djokovic had no problems cruising towards the finish line, winning the match 6-3, 6-2 in what was the most lopsided match between these two. In the final, he will take on Jannik Sinner, who beat him once at the event already, and defeated Daniil Medvedev in the first semifinal of the 2023 ATP Finals.