ATP Cincinnati: Novak Djokovic saves MP and edges Carlos Alcaraz

Novak Djokovic secured his 39th Masters 1000 title, the third in Cincinnati

by Jovica Ilic
ATP Cincinnati: Novak Djokovic saves MP and edges Carlos Alcaraz

Novak Djokovic secured his 39th Masters 1000 title in Cincinnati following a thrilling victory over world no. 1 Carlos Alcaraz. Novak prevailed 5-7, 7-6, 7-6 after three hours and 49 minutes under a scorching Ohio sun, fending off a match point in the second set's tie break and emerging at the top in the decider to celebrate his fourth title of the season.

Carlos led 7-5, 4-2 before Novak produced a comeback, prevailing in the tie break and breaking his rival once in the final set to lift the trophy. Novak grabbed the encounter's opening game at 15 following Carlos' backhand error.

The Spaniard responded with a fine hold in game two after a strong forehand, getting his name on the scoreboard. Djokovic moved 2-1 in front with a hold at 15, serving well in the early stages. Alcaraz held at love in the fourth game before facing issues at 2-3.

Novak stepped in on the return and fired a forehand down the line winner to clinch a break at love and open a 4-2 advantage. Carlos stayed focused and pulled the break back in game seven to reduce the deficit and gain a boost.

The Spaniard held at love in the eighth game and reached deuce on the return in the next one. The Serb held for 5-4, and his rival responded with a hold at 30 to extend the set. Alcaraz delivered a crucial break in game 11 after forcing Djokovic's error, moving 6-5 in front and serving for the opener.

The young gun cracked a backhand down the line winner in the 12th game to wrap up the opener in style after an hour. They served well at the start of the second set before Alcaraz delivered a break in the third game after drawing Djokovic's backhand mistake.

Novak called for a doctor ahead of the fourth game and created a break chance. Carlos saved it and held to open a 3-1 gap and move closer to the finish line. Djokovic served well in games five and seven, preserving energy and remaining within one break deficit.

Novak Djokovic prevailed in a thriller against Carlos Alcaraz.

Novak broke back in game eight after the rival's backhand error, leveling the score at 4-4 and getting back into contention. Carlos sprayed too many mistakes in those games, allowing Novak to take three straight games and open a 5-4 gap.

They served well in the final three games and introduced a tie break, a must-win one for Novak. The Serb moved 2-0 up with a smash winner and opened a 3-1 gap before dropping the following three points. Djokovic saved a match point at 5-6 and created a set point in the 13th point after a great rally.

Carlos denied it after Novak's loose forehand before losing another point on his serve, offering the Serb his second set point. Djokovic seized it after an extended exchange at 8-7, forcing a decider after two hours and ten minutes.

Novak earned two break chances at 2-2 in the third set, and Carlos erased them to remain on the positive side. The Spaniard had to work hard again on his serve at 3-3, defending two break points but creating the third. Alcaraz saved it with a powerful serve and survived another after forcing Djokovic's mistake.

Novak finally seized the fifth break chance to open a 4-3 lead and move closer to his third Cincinnati title. The Serb brought the eighth game home with a service winner, forcing his opponent to serve to stay in the match.

Alcaraz saved a match point with a brave attack before spraying a backhand error and facing the second. The Spaniard denied it after an incredible point and a forehand down the line winner, giving everything to extend the clash.

Novak served for the title at 5-4 and hit a double fault to experience two break points. Djokovic saved them and forced the rival's mistake for the third match point. He squandered it before denying the third break point for another deuce.

The Serb created the fourth match point with a backhand crosscourt winner, and the Spaniard canceled it with a forehand down the line winner. Carlos earned his fourth break chance with a return winner and clinched it after Novak's loose smash to lock the result at 5-5 and extend the drama.

The young gun faced the ultimate test in the 11th game, defending four break points and holding with a powerful serve to open a 6-4 gap. Novak left those chances behind and fired a forehand winner in the 12th game to bring it home in style and introduce a tie break.

Djokovic forged a 3-0 advantage before Alcaraz climbed back to 3-3 with a volley winner at the net. Novak forced the rival's error in the ninth point for a mini-break and a 5-4 lead, moving closer to the finish line. The Serb earned two match points with a booming serve and fired another to emerge at the top.

Atp Cincinnati Novak Djokovic Carlos Alcaraz