Was it the match of the year? The spectacular Alcaraz vs Djokovic final in the Cincinnati Masters surely spellbound the crowd.
Alcaraz vs Djokovic
On Sunday, Novak Djokovic came back from a set down to defeat world number 1 Carlos Alcaraz in a grueling match to win his record-extending 39th Masters 1000 title.
It was the Serb’s first tournament back since losing to Alcaraz in the final of Wimbledon, but Djokovic looked anything but rusty.
In a match just shy of four hours, the two best players in the world battled it out, producing some spectacular shotmaking and saving match points in a match that lasted just shy of four hours.
Alcaraz took the first set 7-5 and was leading by a break in the second before Djokovic hauled the Spaniard back in.
An unusually withered looking Alcaraz couldn’t maintain his advantage and Djokovic came up with the goods to take the second set 9-7 in the tiebreak.
Coming into the third set, both players looked visibly fatigued.
The Cincinnati heat and the tennis level were certainly a factor, but it didn’t stop the finalists from finding their best tennis.
In the third set, Djokovic had a chance to serve for the match at 5-4, but Alcaraz wouldn’t hand the title over to the Serb without making him work.
The Spaniard managed to break back and sent the match into a final set tiebreak.
Unlike their Wimbledon match, Djokovic came up with the goods, sneaking past Alcaraz to win 7-4 in the tiebreak.
Another piece of history was made. The match is the longest-ever best of three finals in ATP tour history.
That’s another record for Djokovic’s book.
Coco Gauff is playing her best tennis
It’s under a week until the last major of the year, the US Open commences. Surely Alcaraz and Djokovic will undoubtedly be the favorites.
Will we be spoiled with another final between the two best players in the world? I think so.
A few months ago, Coco Gauff crashed out of the first round of Wimbledon. Now, the American is playing some of the best tennis of her young career.
Gauff continued her impressive hardcourt season, defeating world number 1 Iga Swiatek for the first time before dispatching French Open finalist Karolina Muchova to win the Cincinnati Open.
This is the American’s second title this month, having also won in Washington, DC. Now she enters her home slam, the US Open, as one of the favorites.
The question is, can she deliver on the biggest of stages in front of a home crowd? She looks in impeccable form and she believes she can win.
A week’s break…for some
After a few busy weeks on tour, many of the top ATP and WTA players will take a break.
Some players, however, looking for matchplay in preparation for the US Open have signed up to play the ATP 250 event in Winston Salem, North Carolina, US.
Borna Coric is this year’s top seed, while American Seb Korda will look to reverse recent fortunes.
My pick for this year’s title is the second seed Tallon Griekspoor.
He narrowly lost out to Frances Tiafoe in Cincinnati in three tough sets and pushed Zverev the previous week at the Canada Open, so he is in form.
On the women’s tour, Carolina Garcia enters the WTA 250 event in Cleveland, Ohio as top seed.
Garcia could face the likes of Veronika Kudermetova, Ekaterina Alexandrova and Sloane Stephens.
Also, look out for 16-year-old sensation Mirra Andreeva, who returns to the tour for the first time since her extraordinary run to the fourth round of Wimbledon.
It’s hard to pick a winner, as none of the players have had any standout performances this hardcourt season.
I’m going to go with Sloane Stephens. The American can be very inconsistent, so it’s always hard to predict how she will do, but I think her best tennis beats everyone else in the draw.