Carlos Alcaraz heralded the changing of the guard in men’s tennis as he ended Novak Djokovic’s long reign at Wimbledon with a rip-roaring 1-6 7-6(6) 6-1 3-6 6-4 victory to win the All England Club title for the first time on Sunday.
The 36-year-old Serbian had been indestructible on Wimbledon’s Centre Court for a decade but on Sunday he finally met his match as he ran out of ideas to stop young gun Alcaraz from hurtling towards the title.
After the 20-year-old had broken for a 2-1 lead in the fifth set with a stupendous passing shot winner, Djokovic’s racket felt the full force of his anger as he smashed it against the wooden net post to leave it in a mangled mess.
That earned Djokovic a second warning in the match, with the Serb also being cautioned earlier for taking too much time to launch into his serves.
But all that distraction failed to throw an inspired Alcaraz off course as he became the youngest man in 37 years to win the gilded Challenge Cup after Djokovic scooped a forehand into the net, leaving the Spaniard to collapse on to his back in his moment of triumph.