Serbian tennis legend Novak Djokovic heaped praise on his opponent Carlos Alcaraz on Sunday after losing the Wimbledon 2023 final at Centre Court in a five-set thriller.
The world No.1 Spaniard defeated the second-seeded Djokovic 1-6, 7-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 in a marathon match which lasted 4 hours and 42 minutes.
Alcaraz became the first player to beat Djokovic at Wimbledon in a decade and the first champion apart from Roger Federer, Djokovic, Rafa Nadal and Andy Murray since 2002.
Reflecting on the clash, Djokovic was full of praise for Alcaraz, comparing the World No. 1 to 20-time major winner Federer and 22-time Slam champion Nadal.
“I think people have been talking in the past 12 months or so about [Alcaraz’s] game consisting of certain elements from Roger, Rafa, and myself. I would agree with that. I think he's got basically best of all three worlds,” Djokovic said.
“He's got this mental resilience and really maturity for someone who is 20 years old. It's quite impressive. He's got this Spanish bull mentality of competitiveness and fighting spirit and incredible defence that we've seen with Rafa over the years.
"And I think he's got some nice sliding backhands that he's got some similarities with my backhands. The two-handed backhands, defence, being able to adapt. I think that has been my personal strength for many years. He has it, too.
“I haven't played a player like him ever, to be honest. Roger and Rafa have their own obvious strengths and weaknesses. Carlos is a very complete player. Amazing adapting capabilities that I think are a key for longevity and for a successful career on all surfaces.”