Two-time champion Novak Djokovic takes on the world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz during the Cincinnati Open final, the ATP Masters 1000 event, on Saturday.
The clash is expected to be the second game on Center Court after the women’s final between Coco Gauff and Karolina Muchova on the last day of this year’s tournament.
When and where to watch?
The Cincinnati Open Final between Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz will be streamed live on SonyLiv. The match will begin at 2am IST on August 20.
This will be the first time Djokovic and Alcaraz have faced off since the 20-year-old Spaniard beat four-time champion Djokovic 1-6, 7-6(6), 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 in a thrilling Wimbledon final last month.
Djokovic, competing on American soil for the first time in two years and in Cincinnati in four years, has had a fairly easy journey to the top clash. The 36-year-old Serbian led Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-4 in the first round when the Spaniard was forced to retire with a back injury. Djokovic then defeated Gael Monfils 6-3, 6-2, extending his win-loss record against the Frenchman to 19-0.
Djokovic beat Taylor Fritz 6-0, 6-4 in the quarterfinals before beating German Alexander Zverev 7-6(5), 7-5 in the semifinals, his toughest match to date.
On the other hand, Alcaraz had to fight round by round. He started his campaign with a 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 win over Jordan Thompson in the Australian qualifiers. American Tommy Paul, who beat Alcaraz in the quarterfinals of the Canadian Open, spooked the Spaniard in the round of 16 in Cincinnati but the top seed beat him 7-6( 6), 6-7(0), 6 -3.
Alcaraz faced Max Purcell, another Australian qualifier, in the quarterfinals and it took him again three sets to beat him 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. However, like Djokovic, Alcaraz also had his biggest challenge in the semifinals when he was forced to save a match point before defeating Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz 2-6, 7-6(4), 6-3.
Alcaraz is the youngest player to reach the final of the Cincinnati Open since Pete Sampras (19) in 1991 and aims to become the youngest champion since Boris Becker (17) in 1985.
Play: 3 | Djokovic: 1 | Alcaraz: 2
Djokovic and Alcaraz have faced each other 3 times. Their first meeting took place in the semifinals of Madrid Masters 2022, where Alcaraz excellently defeated the Serbian player with a score of 6-7(5), 7-5, 7-6(5). In the second bout, Djokovic won 6-4, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 in this year’s French Open semi-finals. However, Alcaraz avenged that loss by beating the Serbian in the Wimbledon final.