Djokovic said he played ‘the toughest match ever’ against Alcaraz in Cincinnati.
Carlos Alcaraz felt flattered after Novak Djokovic described their Cincinnati Masters final as “the toughest match ever” he has participated in. After three hours and 49 minutes, Djokovic edged out Alcaraz 5-7 7-6 (7) 7-6 (4) to win the Cincinnati title.
“It’s tough to describe. It was the toughest I’ve ever played in my life. From start to finish we both went through highs, lows, incredible points, bad games, heatstroke, comebacks. Overall this was the toughest and most exciting match I’ve ever been a part of.
It’s matches like these that I continue to work for,” Djokovic said of the Cincinnati final against Alcaraz.
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“For me it’s great to hear that things from Novak, [who] has played iconic matches, storied matches.
He said some matches against me were [some] of the toughest that he has played, it’s great. That means that my team and myself, we are doing the great work, we are in a good path. [Because of] matches like this one, we know that we have to still work in the same way that we are doing,” Alcaraz said after the final.After recovering from a break down to win the first set, Alcaraz also collected an early break in the second set and at one point had a 4-2 lead.
But Djokovic refused to quit as the Serb broke back Alcaraz in the eighth game and managed to force a tie-break – in which he saved a match point before converting his first match point to send the match into a decider. In the third set, Djokovic had a 5-3 lead but then missed out on two match points in the ninth game and two more match points in the 10th game.
The match eventually went into another tie-break, where Djokovic and Alcaraz were tied to four points apiece before the Serb won three points in a row to complete a three-set win.