“I thought I’ll have trouble with you only on clay and maybe hard court – not on grass – now it’s a different story,” Djokovic tells Alcaraz after Wimbledon final
Novak Djokovic praised Carlos Alcaraz for swift – and unexpected – rise to glory on the grass.
Novak Djokovic’s 10-year reign on Wimbledon’s Centre Court was snapped on Sunday by a 20-year-old tour de force that has risen rapidly as a grass-court threat: Carlos Alcaraz.
The Spaniard, with just two grass-court events under his belt prior to 2023, has hit cruising speed on the sports’ slippery surface in a big way in 2023. He won all 12 matches he played on the surface. claiming the title at Queen’s Club before powering to his maiden Wimbledon title on Sunday.
By doing so the 20-year-old Spaniard becomes the youngest man to claim the singles title at Wimbledon since Boris Becker in 1986.
“I thought I’ll have trouble with you only on clay and maybe hard court – not on grass – now it’s a different story,” Djokovic told Alcaraz during his runner-up speech on Centre Court.
“Congrats on an amazing way to adapt to the surface. You played maybe once or twice before this year’s Wimbledon on grass. Amazing just what you did in Queens, and congratulations to your team Juan Carlos, everybody, well done guys.”
Alcaraz, now 16-2 lifetime on grass, couldn’t quite believe how quickly he has progressed on grass. He credits the work he is doing under his coach Juan Carlos Ferrero for his marked improvement.
“I fell in love with grass right now,” he said. “It’s amazing. I didn’t expect to play at this level, in a really short period.
“I played just for tournaments on grass. I won Queen’s, I won here, it’s a dream come true. I’m really happy with the work that we were doing, coming to me into the grass season. I think I learned really, really fast and I’m really proud.”