Boris Becker wishes for eternal Novak Djokovic after Carlos Alcaraz’s failure to break a 37-year-old record

Amidst a deafening crowd, the 36-year-old Serbian Novak Djokovic and the 20-year-old Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz took center stage to battle it out in the blue hard courts of Cincinnati. After being taken to the brink, Djokovic saved a match point before roaring back to defeat world number one Alcaraz 5-7 7-6 (7) 7-6 (4)

The win shattered multiple records, including the longest-ever ATP tour match ever played. Novak also became the oldest tennis player to win the Cincinnati Open at the age of 36. 

Boris Becker wishes Novak Djokovic to play indefinitely after Cincinnati thriller

Boris Becker expressed awe for the seemingly ageless Djokovic after witnessing his hard-fought match against Alcaraz. He admitted that he wished for Djokovic to play forever, stating

“I hope Djokovic will play forever. These are the duels that make the tennis heart beat faster: the most successful player of all time, Novak Djokovic, against the primus, the best in class, also No. 1 in the world rankings. You can’t imagine anything better. It was a fabulous match in Cincinnati.”

Boris Becker

The German tennis icon is himself a one-time Cincinnati Open winner, defeating Swedish tennis player Mats Wilander 6-4 6-2 in 1985. He also coached Novak Djokovic from 2013 to 2016.

Speaking to Eurosport Germany’s Das Gelbe vom Ball podcast, Boris Becker said “What I particularly liked at Alcaraz’s side was his coach. Carlos’ coaching for his protege was really good listening after every point. According to the motto, ‘is the coach important?’ I think this question was answered by this final, and also with Novak the coaches stood up and supported him loudly.”

He stressed his hope for Djokovic not to retire any time soon, despite Djokovic’s father urging his son to consider retirement after the marathon Wimbledon finals between Alcaraz and Djokovic, which the Serbian lost. 
Novak Djokovic is competing and winning in top ATP tournaments. With Boris Becker backing him and pushing him to achieve greater success in the remainder of his career, one can expect the French Open champion to go for glory in this year’s US Open. There is a possibility of a mouth-watering reunion between Alcaraz and Djokovic in New York that could prolong this nascent rivalry. 

Alcaraz misses chance to become youngest Cincinnati Open champion since Boris Becker

Ultimately, Novak Djokovic ended up becoming the oldest-ever Cincinnati Open champion. If Alcaraz had toppled the Serbian to win the ATP Masters 1000 crown, the story could have been entirely different.

He would have led Djokovic 3-1 in their head-to-head record, but as it stands, it is tied at 2-2.

Boris Becker

Becker holds the achievement of being the youngest-ever Cincinnati Open champion at the age of 17. His defeat of Mats Wilander came just two months after he won the Wimbledon championship, earning him the recognition of being the youngest-ever champion in London.

His Cincinnati record would have stood firm even if Alcaraz had won, but the Spaniard could have still held his head up high knowing that he was second only to ‘the Boris Becker’.

Nevertheless, Alcaraz had many records to hold on to, such as being the third youngest Wimbledon champion, being the fifth man in the Open Era to win multiple Grand Slam titles prior to turning 21, and being the first man outside the Big Four – Nadal, Djokovic, Murray and Roger Federer – to win the Wimbledon title in the last 21 years (Lleyton Hewitt, 2002)

Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz’s epic Cincinnati Open match set multiple records and have legends like Boris heaping praise on both athletes. Many people are looking forward to a showdown between the two in the US Open, which begins on 28th August. If Djokovic and Alcaraz meet in Flushing Meadows, who do you think triumph and lead 3-2 in their head-to-head meetings? Let us know in the comments section below.


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