Novak Djokovic avenged his Wimbledon final defeat to Carlos Alcaraz by beating the Spaniard in just under four hours to win the Cincinnati Open.
The Serb survived a match point in the second set before going on to win 5-7 7-6 (9-7) 7-6 (7-4).
Top seed Alcaraz beat Djokovic in five sets in last month’s Wimbledon final.
“The feeling that I have on the court reminds me a little bit of when I was facing [Rafael] Nadal when we were at our prime,” Djokovic said.
“I don’t think I’ve played too many matches like this in my life.”
Djokovic compared the draining win to his Australian Open final victory in 2012, when he defeated Nadal in five hours and 53 minutes.
“Each point is a hustle. Each point is a battle. You’ve got to basically earn every single point, every single shot, regardless of the conditions. It’s amazing to be able to experience that with him on the court,” Djokovic added.
Despite the defeat, Alcaraz will keep the world number one ranking for his US Open title defence.
However, Djokovic will return to the top of the rankings if he wins just one match at Flushing Meadows.