ESPN News Services
Aug 20, 2023, 09:33 PM ET
Djokovic collapsed on his back before tearing his shirt off after triumphing in the nearly four-hour contest to win his third title in Cincinnati and avenge his loss to Alcaraz in last month’s Wimbledon final.
“This was one of the exciting matches I’ve ever played in any tournament,” Djokovic, the winner of a men’s-record 23 Grand Slam titles, said during the postmatch trophy presentation. “It felt like a Grand Slam.”
With temperatures hovering near 90 degrees, the 36-year-old Djokovic survived the tournament’s longest men’s match since at least 1990 to become the oldest man to win the championship. Ken Rosewall was 35 when he won in 1970.
At 3 hours, 49 minutes, the match was the longest best-of-three set final in ATP tour history (since 1990).
The Serbian player looked hobbled by the intense humidity at the tail end of the first set, barely moving when Alcaraz hit a backhand winner to grab the opener.
“You never give up, do you?” Novak Djokovic said to