Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic has won 23 Grand Slam tournaments and the past four straight men’s single’s titles at Wimbledon. He hadn’t lost a match on Wimbledon’s center court since 2013—until Sunday, that is, when 20-year-old Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz beat him 6-4 in the fifth set despite having little experience playing on grass. The win makes Alcaraz the youngest winner of the tournament since Boris Becker won it in 1985 at the age of 17. After a bumpy start, Alcaraz powered through, repeatedly tripping up Djokovic with well-placed drop shots.
Alcaraz came into the tournament ranked number one in the world, but mainly because Djokovic wasn’t allowed to play in the US Open last fall, or any other American tournament over the past two years, thanks to his continued refusal to get a Covid vaccine. Alcaraz won the 2022 US Open, but when he faced off with Djokovic in June at the French Open semi-final, Djokovic crushed him after Alacaraz was hobbled with leg cramps. In today’s final, his first at Wimbledon, Alacaraz sucked down electrolytes (and possibly pickle juice, as the announcers speculated) during the nearly five hour match to avoid a repeat of the French Open cramping debacle.
Meanwhile, after one losing point towards the end of the match, Djokovic was so upset he smashed his racquet on the net post.
Djokovic is not happy 😬
— FanDuel (@FanDuel) July 16, 2023
Nonetheless, Djokovic, 36, was gracious in his post-match comments. “I won many tough matches here,” he said. “Maybe I have won a couple of finals I should have lost, so maybe this is even-steven.” He choked back tears after referring to his children who were watching from the stands.
The usual British royalty were on hand to witness the historic event, including Prince William and his two children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte. (Prince Louis is still considered too young to attend, a status he was reportedly unhappy about.) They were also joined by King Felipe of Spain, who is an Alcaraz fan and came to cheer him on. As always, an all-star celebrity lineup came out to watch the match, including Idris Elba, Hugh Jackman, Andrew Garfield and Brad Pitt, who got Twitter buzzing with his scandalously casual open polo shirt and unshaven face.
Wimbledon has a strict, all-white tennis dress code for players that has been in effect for 146 years—until this year, when women were allowed to wear dark-colored undershorts in response players’ concerns about period issues. No official dress code exists for spectators, but unofficial codes tend to prevail, demanding jackets and ties for men, and dresses for women. Pitt raised a few eyebrows in his casual attire, especially when compared with Daniel Craig and Tom Hiddleston, who both wore suits and ties. Fortunately for them, the heat wave currently crushing southern Europe did not seem to affect the legendary tennis tournament, where temperatures remained in the very pleasant low 70s.
Brad Pitt to Hugh Jackman, Andrew Garfield to Ariana Grande, Tom Hiddleston to Daniel Craig… it's a star shower at Centre Court on the final day of Wimbledon 2023. #WimbledonFinal #Wimbledon #Djokovic #GrandSlam #CarlosAlcaraz pic.twitter.com/om3N9DCJCw
— Aayush Kumar (@IndiAayush88) July 16, 2023