- By Jonathan Jurejko
- BBC Sport at Wimbledon
Wimbledon 2023 on BBC
Location: All England Club Day: July 3-16
Network coverage: Live on BBC TV, radio and online with extensive coverage on BBC iPlayer, Red Button, Connected TV and mobile apps. More coverage details here.
Defending champion Novak Djokovic reaches the men’s Wimbledon final for the fifth time in a row, where Carlos Alcaraz will attempt to end the Serb’s recent dominance.
Second seed Djokovic, 36, won 6-3 6-4 7-6 (7-4) over Italian eighth seed Jannik Sinner in the semifinals.
Djokovic is another win from his eighth Wimbledon men’s title and 24th major title – both equal on record.
Spaniard top seed Alcaraz, 20, won 6-3 6-3 6-3 over Russian third seed Daniil Medvedev late on Friday.
Alcaraz overcame Medvedev in the second semi-final, also played under the roof of Center Court later, to reach the first final at the All England Club.
In contrast, Djokovic had his 9th match at Wimbledon.
It will also be a record 35th Grand Slam final after he surpassed the record he previously shared with American Chris Evert.
Djokovic hasn’t lost a match at Wimbledon since 2016 and hasn’t been beaten on Center Court since 2013.
Djokovic, who is 14 years and 86 days older than Sinner, said: “In the semi-finals it’s always a very close match and very intense.
“That’s the case and the score doesn’t reflect the reality of what’s happening on the pitch. It’s very close.
“Jannik has proven why he is one of the leaders of the next generation and one of the best players in the world.
“I tried not to see age as an obstacle or a determining factor in outcomes. I guess 36 is the new 26.”
Experience wins youth – again
The contrast between Djokovic and Sinner in terms of experience was evident in the pre-match stats – and was shown in practice during the match.
Sinner, 21, is playing his first Grand Slam semi-final, while Djokovic is in contention for his 46th grand slam semi-final – equaling Roger Federer’s all-time record.
Djokovic, who turns 36 in May, is bidding to become the third oldest man in the Open era to reach the final. Sinner has set his sights on being the youngest since 2007.
Knowledge of how to succeed on the sport’s biggest occasions, plus the ability to perform when it matters most, has proven to be key.
Sinner failed to convert any of his six break points in the match, including two in the opening set and another later in the crucial first set.
Djokovic converted his only chance in the first set and displayed his clinical finish, hitting three aces and a winning serveer from 0-15 to 5-3 in the opening match. .
With Sinner not facing a single seed in his run to the last four, Djokovic has taken a significant step up in class.
Things became increasingly ominous for the Italian as he took a 2-1 lead in the second set.
Djokovic’s fourth opportunity to serve came in the fourth game – where the Serb was awarded a point for obstruction, British referee Richard Haigh judged to have annoyed Sinner with a grunt. grumbled, and then got a warning for serving too long.
After gaping in disbelief and talking to the referee, Djokovic quickly regained his focus to hold a draw.
The former world number one continued to serve in the second set without facing another break point and few could back Sinner to turn the game around at the time.
The Italian didn’t give in as many expected, but instead stepped up to push Djokovic in a tight third set.
As a result, Djokovic became increasingly irritable.
He had an exchange with a fan after saving two set points 5-4, sarcastically telling them to stop crying, then smiling in the same direction after winning the series. tie-break.
Alcaraz emphasizes outstanding talent
Alcaraz and Medvedev have both won major titles on US Open hard courts, but are trying to make the SW19 roster for the first time after a markedly improved summer at the All England Club.
Alcaraz has only played in his fourth professional tournament on grass and is already claiming the title of Queen in the near term.
As a testament to his outstanding talent, he became the youngest player to reach the men’s Wimbledon final since 22-time Spanish Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal in 2007.
Confidence in his footwork continued to build during the English grass-court season, setting the stage for the Spaniard to utilize his powerful serves, Explosive ground hits and deft shots to create destructive effects.
Growing up in Murcia, clay was considered his most natural surface, but it was hard court where he won his first major championship at Flushing Meadows last year.
Now, he has emerged as a force on the pitch and underscored reality once again with an overwhelming victory over Medvedev.
There was very little gap between the pairs until Alcaraz broke the break late in the first set. With momentum, he served two more times in the second inning before finishing the third by ending a streak of four consecutive breaks.