US Open odds: Carlos Alcaraz 13/8 to retain title
Carlos Alcaraz is the 13/8 second favourite with Coral to retain his US Open title after the Spaniard thwarted Novak Djokovic’s Grand Slam hopes at Wimbledon.
Alcaraz was crowned the new king of Wimbledon after dethroning Djokovic on a rapt Centre Court in one of the great grand slam finals.
The young Spaniard looked to be on his way to victory when he recovered from a nervous start to take a two-sets-to-one lead only for Djokovic to show once again his remarkable powers of resilience.
It was he who appeared in the ascendancy at the start of the fifth set but back came 20-year-old Alcaraz to claim a 1-6 7-6 (6) 6-1 3-6 6-4 victory after four hours and 42 minutes, finally landing a meaningful blow for the young guns against the man 16 years his senior.
The defeat prevented Djokovic – evens for a fourth US Open triumph – tying Roger Federer with an eighth Wimbledon title while it also ended his chances of winning the calendar Grand Slam this year, although he will surely have more opportunities to equal Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 slam crowns.
Alcaraz was not even born when Lleyton Hewitt in 2002 became the last man apart from Federer, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray or Djokovic to win the title here and he is the youngest men’s champion since Boris Becker in 1986.
Coral’s David Stevens said: “Although Carlos Alcaraz came out on top at SW19, he’s still second favourite for the year’s final major tournament, with Novak Djokovic even money to gain his revenge at Flushing Meadows.”
Alcaraz won his maiden slam title at the US Open last summer but, having beaten Casper Ruud on that occasion with Djokovic barred from entering the country, there is no question this is a far bigger, and potentially seismic, moment in the men’s game.
“I did it for myself, not for the tennis generation,” said Alcaraz. “(But) beating Novak at his best, in this stage, making history, being the guy to beat him after 10 years unbeaten on that court, is amazing for me.
“It’s something I will never forget. It’s great for the new generation, as well, I think, to see me beating him and making them think they are capable to do it as well.
“It’s the happiest moment of my life. I think it’s not going to change for a long time. Beating Novak, winning the Wimbledon championship, is something I dream about since I started playing tennis.”
Djokovic handled the defeat with impressive grace but admitted Alcaraz’s remarkably quick progression on grass had taken him by surprise and thought back to the close finals where he has come out on the other side.
“I’ve won some epic finals that I was very close to losing,” he said. “Maybe this is kind of a fair-and-square deal, I guess, to lose a match like this for me here. Even though it hurts.
“Credit to Carlos. Amazing poise in the important moments. For someone of his age to handle the nerves like this, be playing attacking tennis, and to close out the match the way he did. I thought I returned very well that last game but he was just coming up with some amazing, amazing shots.
“Some regrets. I had my chances. I think I could have closed out that second-set tie-breaker better. But credit to him for fighting and showing some incredible defensive skills, passing shots that got him the break in the fifth. He was a deserved winner.”
US Open odds
Evens – Novak Djokovic
13/8 – Carlos Alcaraz
7/2 Daniil Medvedev
8/1 Nick Kyrgios
10/1 Jannik Sinner, Stefanos Tsitsipas
14/1 Holger Rume, Alexander Zverev
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication