Tennis: Djokovic Closes In On Alcaraz At Top Of Rankings With Win In Cincinnati Open

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Ahead of the draw for the US Open on Thursday, Novak Djokovic jumped to second in the men’s tennis rankings after outlasting world No 1 Carlos Alcaraz to win the Cincinnati Open. In his last warm-up event for the season’s final major, Djokovic took some revenge on Sunday on the 20-year-old Spaniard who won their final at Wimbledon on July 17.

Djokovic fell a set behind but fought back to win 5-7, 7-6 (9/7), 7-6 (7/4) on his fifth match point and after 3 hours 49 minutes. Djokovic took second in the rankings released on Monday from Daniil Medvedev, who was eliminated in the last 16 by Alexander Zverev. The Serbian also cut Alcaraz’s lead atop the rankings to 20 points.

“It’s crazy; I don’t know what I can say,” said the 23-time Grand Slam champion, “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.”

It was another epic chapter to the budding rivalry between 20-year-old top-ranked Alcaraz and the 36-year-old Serb star. The two who have traded the No 1 ranking six times this year are now level on two wins apiece in their head-to-head rivalry.

“I feel proud of myself, honestly. I don’t know why I was crying because I fight until the last ball,” Alcaraz said. “I almost beat one of the greatest of all time in our sport. I left the court really happy with what I did.” The 20-year-old unleashed everything he had at Djokovic and found it wasn’t enough.

 

 

 

 

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