Novak Djokovic is 8/15 to win his eighth Wimbledon, and 24th Grand Slam singles title, with a victory over 13/8 Carlos Alcaraz in the All England Club final in what is set to be a scintillating encounter between the world’s two best players and top two seeds.
|Carlos Alcaraz v Novak Djokovic
|Wimbledon, All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club
|14:00, Sunday 16th July
|How to watch
|BBC Sport & Eurosport
|Carlos Alcaraz 13/8, Novak Djokovic 8/15
There’s a classic encounter in store for tennis fans when seven-time champion Novak Djokovic takes on world number one Carlos Alcaraz in this year’s Wimbledon men’s singles final.
And while Djokovic pretty much has to be the favourite given that he is the defending champion, is unbeaten on Centre Court since 2013 and defeated Alcaraz in the semi-finals of the French Open in early June, the betting is sufficiently close enough to remind punters that the oddsmakers reckon Alcaraz has an opportunity to avenge that recent Paris defeat against the super Serb.
The pair dominated this year’s Wimbledon title betting before the third Grand Slam tournament of the year started on the London grass - Djokovic was 4/7 with Alcaraz 7/2 clear second-favourite and it was 16/1 bar the two.
And, lo and behold, the early market forecast proved to be spot-on.
Neither player has been seriously troubled on his way to the final, but clearly something has got to give in a title match between two of the sport’s titans and finding out whether the status quo is maintained or changed will make for absolutely fascinating viewing.
Djokovic is eyeing a Calendar Grand Slam following triumphs at his beloved Australian Open, the major in which he has been most dominant, in January and the French Open last month.
With Roger Federer retired, Rafael Nadal reportedly close to calling it a day and Andy Murray struggling to return to his best after major injury problems, the Serb is loving life on the tennis courts and he looks set to continue near the top for a good few years to come.
But that golden generation was also yesterday’s generation in many ways.
And while Djokovic is still perfectly viable and relevant, the new breed has thrown up one young player in particular to watch out for, and that is Alcaraz.
The Spaniard is an immense talent and he hasn’t taken long to realise that at the top level. Djokovic, Nadal and Federer could win only so many Slam titles each in their pomp, so who knows how many Alcaraz could glean in the years to come?
He could easily go on to supersede Djokovic, who currently has 23 major singles titles to his name, as the winning-most performer in that sphere.
So it’s no surprise to see the Balkans ace, with his old rivals having left the stage or possibly soon to depart it, still giving his all against the latest star performer.
Alcaraz, who is coached by another former world number one and Grand Slam champion in Juan Carlos Ferrero, has done little wrong in his career to date and it won’t take the Murcian long to go all the way on clay in the French Open - he’ll most likely win that in 2024.
But it’s pretty much all systems go for Alcaraz, who has captured titles in Buenos Aires (clay), Indian Wells (hard), Barcelona (clay), Madrid (clay) and at the Queen’s Club (grass) this year and he looks well placed to pose plenty of problems for Djokovic in the Wimbledon title match.
Taking on a long-time champion and a player as great as Djokovic, who more than anyone has taken the sport to new levels, should obviously not be done easily.
But sometimes when a blinding young talent appears, punters ought to stand up and take notice.
Alcaraz was unable to participate in the Australian Open in January due to injury, so as far as the Spaniard is concerned, the US Open champion is bidding to make it two wins in the last two fast-court Grand Slam tournaments he has contested.
Djokovic, champion in the Australian and French Opens, is hoping to make it three wins in as many majors in 2023 and put himself in line for a Calendar Slam.
But Alcaraz will have other ideas, especially after coming up short against the Serb in Paris on clay, the terrain on which all Spanish players learn their trade.
There was not much shame for Djokovic with dropping a set against Hubert Hurkacz - the Pole played superbly well with the exception of getting tight at the end of the first two tiebreak sets in their fourth-round clash.
However, needing four sets to see off Andrey Rublev, a fine player but one with limited weapons, especially when it comes to-fast-court tennis, was something of a surprise and Djokovic is highly unlikely to be able to afford Alcaraz a similar luxury in the final.
Djokovic merely had to wait for Jannik Sinner to commit unforced errors in rallies in their semi-final, but as an opponent, Alcaraz is considerably more explosive, proactive and dangerous than the Italian and the title favourite may well find that out to his cost.
Carlos Alcaraz to beat Novak Djokovic @
Odds displayed were correct at the time of writing and subject to fluctuation.
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