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Aug 20 – The Cincinnati Masters will feature a replay of the Wimbledon final as Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz reached the final of the ATP Masters 1000 event.
Djokovic won his 1068th career match on Saturday, defeating 2021 champion Alexander Zverev 7-6(5), 7-5 in a baseline slugfest.
With his 1,068th career match win, the Serbian tied Rafael Nadal and Ivan Lendl for third position in career victories, trailing only Roger Federer (1,251) and Jimmy Connors (1,274).
The 23-time Grand Slam champion is vying for his third Western & Southern Open victory (2018, 2020) as well as his 39th ATP Masters 1000 singles trophy.
If Djokovic wins his fourth title in 2023, he will overtake Ken Rosewall (1970) as the oldest Cincinnati champion in the Open Era.
With the exception of Monte-Carlo, which he has won twice, if the Serb wins on Sunday, he will have won all nine Masters 1000s three times. No one else has ever won all nine Masters 1000s.
Earlier in the day, first seed Alcaraz averted a match point to win an exciting encounter against Hubert Hurkacz 2-6, 7-6(4), 6-3 and advance to his seventh final of the season.
Alcaraz won the top spot in Monday’s ATP Rankings with his 53rd match win of the season, independent of his performance in the Cincinnati final, where he will face the Serbian great.
The Spaniard leads Djokovic in their ATP head-to-head series 2-1, having most recently defeated the 23-time major champion in a five-set Wimbledon final that lasted four hours and 43 minutes.
The 20-year-old is aiming for his third Masters 1000 title of the season, after victories in Indian Wells and Madrid. Alcaraz is the youngest finalist in Cincinnati since Pete Sampras in 1991.
If Alcaraz goes unbeaten in Masters 1000 finals and wins his fifth title, he will be the youngest Cincinnati champion since Boris Becker in 1985.