Novak Djokovic faces Carlos Alcaraz in the Cincinnati Open final

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Novak Djokovic will have a chance to avenge his recent Wimbledon defeat to Carlos Alcaraz when the pair meet in the final of the Cincinnati Open.

World number one Alcaraz saved a match point before defeating Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz 2-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 in the semi-finals on Saturday.

Then world number two Djokovic defeated German Alexander Zverev 7-6 (7-5), 7-5 to set up the Alcaraz match.

“It’s the biggest challenge for me at the moment,” Djokovic said.

The Spaniard Alcaraz, 20, defeated the Serb in five sets Wimbledon final last month He has won two of their three meetings so far.

“It’s a very good test before the US Open,” said Djokovic, 36. Obviously, the circumstances are different.

“Now it will be the first encounter on a difficult court.

“You’re still facing the best player in the world right now and he’s in great shape. It’s the biggest challenge I can take on, so I’m looking forward to that.”

Alcaraz’s victory over Hurkacz means he will play in his eighth World Cup Finals in 2023. He is also the youngest player to reach the finals of the Cincinnati Open since 19-year-old Pete Sampras in 1991.

At 36, Djokovic could become Cincinnati’s oldest champion in the Open Era — Ken Rosewall was 35 when he won in 1970.

He had won the title twice previously, in 2018 and 2020.

Djokovic is playing in his first tournament on US soil since 2021 after missing last year’s US Open and other tournaments due to his COVID-19 vaccination.

He will bid for his 24th Grand Slam title at the US Open, which kicks off August 28.

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