Rafael Nadal was among the first ones to congratulate compatriot Carlos Alcaraz after he made history by defeating Novak Djokovic and claiming his first Wimbledon crown on Sunday.
“Congratulations @carlosalcaraz. You have given us immense joy today and I am sure that our pioneer in Spanish tennis, Manolo Santana, has also been cheering wherever he is. A very strong hug and enjoy the moment, Champion!!!,” Nadal posted on Twitter.
Alcaraz heralded the changing of the guard in men’s tennis as he ended Djokovic’s long reign at Wimbledon with a rip-roaring 1-6 7-6(6) 6-1 3-6 6-4 victory.
Enhorabuena @carlosalcaraz . Nos has dado una alegría inmensa hoy y seguro que nuestro pionero en el tenis español, Manolo Santana, también ha estado animando allá dónde esté como de Wimbledon al que hoy te has unido.
Un abrazo muy fuerte y a disfrutar del momento ¡¡¡Campeón!!!… pic.twitter.com/y0j2GowX3O
— Rafa Nadal (@RafaelNadal) July 16, 2023
The 36-year-old Serbian had been indestructible on Wimbledon’s Centre Court for a decade but on Sunday he finally met his match as he ran out of ideas to stop young gun Alcaraz from hurtling towards the title.
After the 20-year-old had broken for a 2-1 lead in the fifth set with a stupendous passing shot winner, Djokovic’s racket felt the full force of his anger as he smashed it against the wooden net post to leave it in a mangled mess.
That earned Djokovic a second warning in the match, with the Serb also being cautioned earlier for taking too much time to launch into his serves.Also ReadNovak Djokovic falls in first US match since 2021, losing in doubles in OhioNovak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz set to meet again in group stage of Dav...Does Steffi Graf ever age? Husband Andre Agassi has the perfect replyWatch: Jannik Sinner wins a 46-shot rally against Tommy Paul
But all that distraction failed to throw an inspired Alcaraz off course as he became the youngest man in 37 years to win the gilded Challenge Cup after Djokovic scooped a forehand into the net, leaving the Spaniard to collapse on to his back in his moment of triumph.