Carlos Alcaraz in tears after Novak Djokovic loss as Serb comes...
Carlos Alcaraz in tears after Novak Djokovic loss as Serb comes through 'toughest match'

Carlos Alcaraz in tears after Novak Djokovic loss as Serb comes through 'toughest match'

Carlos Alcaraz was in tears at his bench after losing a thrilling three-hour-and-48-minute final to Novak Djokovic at the Cincinnati Open. The world No 1 had a championship point in the second set and saved four in the third set before he finally went down 5-7 7-6(7) 7-6(4). Afterwards, Djokovic branded the final "one of the toughest matches" of his career. Alcaraz and Djokovic contested another thriller exactly five weeks after the Spaniard won their Wimbledon final in five sets. This time around, it was the Serb who came through after struggling in the intense heat early on in the match. Djokovic looked down and out when he was a set-and-a-break down but managed to force a final set. He went a break up in the third but the top seed also refused to go down without a fight, saving four championship points across two games and breaking Djokovic as the 36-year-old served for the match. But Alcaraz eventually went out 7-4 in the final set tiebreak and was in tears at his bench as he got changed, crying into his towel. The two-time Major champion got emotional once more in his runner-up speech as he congratulated Djokovic and thanked his team. "It’s going to be tough for me to talk right now but I’ll try to do my best. First of all, I want to congratulate Novak once again," he started. "It’s amazing sharing the court with you, playing you, learning from you. This match was really close but I learned a lot from a champion like you so congratulations to you and your team." Alcaraz teared up again while paying tribute to his team and his brother. He continued: "To my team, we are working really really hard to stay in this stage, to play these kinds of matches, these finals. I’m grateful to have a team like you guys, to work with you. I want to say thank you not only in the professional part, but even in the personal part you are a great example for me that I learn from every day so I want to say thank you to all of you. "And then I have my brother here as well. It’s great to have you here, supporting me every day, to make me be a better person every day, learning from you as well. So thank you very much for being with me." Meanwhile, Djokovic branded the final one of the toughest matches he had ever played at any level. "Crazy. Honestly, I don’t know what else I can say tough to describe definitely one of the toughest matches I’ve ever played in my life regardless of what tournament, what category, what player," the second seed told TV cameras before the trophy presentation. "From the beginning till the end we’ve both been through so much, so many ups and downs highs and lows, heatstrokes coming back, overall one of the toughest and most exciting matches I was ever part of, these are moments in matches I continue to work for. I was never in doubt I could deliver the A game when it mattered the most."

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