Djokovic Is The Greatest, But Tennis Needed A New Wimbledon Champion

Carlos Alcaraz was crowned at Centre Court on Sunday
12:00, 17 Jul 2023

Carlos Alcaraz wasn’t even born the last time a male player not called Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal or Andy Murray won Wimbledon. That run began in 2003 with Federer’s first win and it only came to an end as the young Spaniard held the gold trophy aloft on Centre Court this weekend. 

It has been the greatest era male tennis has ever seen, but in recent times it had become all too predictable. Murray’s injuries brought an early end to his time at the top, age finally caught up with Federer as he retired last year, and Nadal isn’t the same player he once was and plans to retire in 2024. 

It has left Djokovic with a clear path to pick up major title after major title. The finest player we have ever seen is a joy to watch at times, has earned more money than any other player in history and is likely to beat Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 Grand Slam titles. But, due to his undeniable quality, he also made the sport a little too predictable. 


In 2021, he won three of the four major tournaments and reached the final of the other. This year, before Wimbledon, he’d picked up the Australian Open and the French Open. He was so far clear of the rest of the pack that his success seemed like an inevitability. And when there is no jeopardy, interest begins to waver. 

From the very start of Wimbledon, most neutrals dreamed of an Alcaraz v Djokovic final. The two finest players in the world going head-to-head, the challenger taking on the champion. What they both produced on Sunday was nothing short of exceptional. The match-up was one of the greatest we have seen as Alcaraz edged a five-set thriller against the seven-time champion. 

And the viewing public were utterly gripped by it. A peak of 11.2 million watched this year's final compared to the 9.6 million who watched Djokovic beat Federer in 2019 and 7.5 million who watched the seven-time champion beat Kyrgios last year.

US Open odds*

Centre Court roared as Alcaraz won Wimbledon for the first time, and in doing so they heralded a new era. The Spaniard proved that he can go toe-to-toe with Djokovic, and beat him. In doing so, he’s broken the Serb's monopoly on the sport and given us a new rivalry that the sporting world already cannot wait to see again. Djokovic’s success has been almost robotic in the past, but to see him pushed to his limit and watch his emotions poor out during and after the game, made the crowd respect last year’s champion even more. 

The Wimbledon final has also massively increased the interest around the US Open later this year. Betfred have priced Alcaraz at 6/4, while Djokovic is the 6/5 favourite to win the calendar's final Grand Slam event, but another match-up bet would be a mouth-watering prospect once again. Tennis needed a new genuine challenger for Djokovic, and Alcaraz is that man. 

Just as Formula One needs somebody to get close to Max Verstappen, and the Premier League needs some competition for Manchester City, sport is far better when the outcome is not so predictable. Alcaraz is the breath of fresh air we have all been waiting for, and he announced himself on the biggest stage. 

Now, at just 20, he has a whole career ahead of him, and many Grand Slam titles to come. It is a shame that Djokovic, 16 years his senior, isn’t a few years younger so we could see these two battle it out for more than a few years, but finally the modern great has a worthy challenger. 

Alcaraz’s remarkable Wimbledon win is the best thing that could have happened to the sport of tennis. 

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