10sBalls.com • TennisBalls.com

Ricky’s pick for the Wimbledon final: Alcaraz vs. Djokovic

Through two sets of their Roland Garros semifinal encounter a little more than a month ago, Carlos Alcaraz vs. Novak Djokovic had the makings of an instant classic. However, Alcaraz’s leg cramps prevented that match from living up to the hype.

At Wimbledon, though, the tennis world has another chance to witness an epic.

The Alcaraz-Djokovic rematch is set for Sunday afternoon at the All-England Club and it will currently break a tie in the 1-1 head-to-head series. Alcaraz prevailed 6-7(5), 7-5, 7-6(5) at the Madrid Masters in 2022 before Djokovic got the job done 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 at the 2023 French Open.

Alcaraz is back in business following that French Open failure and looks to have a real shot at revenge. The world No. 1 won Queen’s Club and booked his spot in the Wimbledon final by ousting Jeremy Chardy, Alexandre Muller, Nicolas Jarry, Matteo Berrettini, Holger Rune, and Daniil Medvedev.

“He’s in great shape,” Djokovic assured. “He’s very motivated. He’s young. He’s hungry…. It’s going to be a great challenge, greatest challenge that I could have at the moment from any angle really: physical, mental, emotional. He’s one of the quickest guys on the tour. He can do pretty much anything on the court. I consider myself also very complete player….

“Judging by the performances that we have seen from all the players, I think this is probably the best finals that we could have.”

Meanwhile, Djokovic is the four-time defending champion of Wimbledon and is halfway to the calendar-year Grand Slam in 2023. He can make it three out of four with one more victory, a position he put himself in by beating Pedro Cachin, Jordan Thompson, Stan Wawrinka, Hubert Hurkacz, Andrey Rublev, and Jannik Sinner.

“Being the guy he is right now, everything he has [accomplished] is amazing,” Alcaraz said. “As I said before, he has no weakness. He’s really complete guy; really complete player. He’s amazing. He does nothing wrong on the court. Physically he’s a beast. Mentally he’s a beast. Everything is unbelievable for him.”

It may be too good again for Alcaraz on Sunday. But it won’t be easy.

Pick: Djokovic in 5

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on Twitter at @Dimonator.