Novak Djokovic compared his Cincinnati Masters final against Carlos Alcaraz to the absolutely epic final he played against Rafael Nadal at the 2012 Australian Open. On Sunday, Djokovic beat Alcaraz 5-7 7-6 (7) 7-6 (4) in the Cincinnati final after three hours and 49 minutes - that length set a new record as the longest-ever ATP final.
In the final at Melbourne Park in 2012, Djokovic needed five hours and 53 minutes before he handed Nadal a 5-7 6-4 6-2 6-7 (5) 7-5 loss. After the Cincinnati final against Alcaraz, Djokovic acknowledged it wasn't a Grand Slam final but highlighted there were definitely certain similarities with the final he had against Nadal in Australia 11 years ago.
Djokovic compares the Alcaraz match to the epic AO final against Nadal
"I don't think I've played too many matches like this in my life. Maybe I can compare it to the final against Nadal at the 2012 Australian Open. Obviously, three sets today, but almost four hours.
You just have to put your hats down to a guy like that. He plays so maturely, handles the pressure so well for a 20-year-old. We cannot forget how young he is. That's something that is so impressive about him," Djokovic said. Before Djokovic sealed a win over Alcaraz, he had to overcome several obstacles and challenges.
In the first set, Djokovic suffered a heatstroke and blew a 4-2 lead before losing the opener. After the match was over, Djokovic admitted it was one of his toughest matches ever. "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," Djokovic said of the Cincinnati final against Alcaraz.
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