Carlos Alcaraz stamps his legacy by defeating Djokovic to win his maiden Wimbledon title

Carlos Alcaraz, the 20-year-old Spanish star, pulled off the nearly impossible, beating Novak Djokovic in a Wimbledon final on the grass that the man widely recognized as the greatest ever to play the sport has long treated as his back lawn.

Djokovic was aiming to extinguish the dreams of another heralded upstart challenging his hold on the game, which, so far, has amounted to 23 Grand Slam tournament titles.

Alcaraz is the standard-bearer of the next group of players who are supposed to move the sport beyond the era of the Big Three, an era that includes Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal and that Djokovic has ruled longer than many expected.

Down after the first set and struggling simply to avoid embarrassment, Alcaraz rediscovered his unique combination of speed, power and touch and figured out the subtleties of grass-court tennis in the nick of time.

It seemed so close, but in the final game, Alcaraz showcased why everyone has been making such a fuss about him for so long. He dropped to the ground and rolled on the grass, his hands over his face in disbelief. He hugged Djokovic at the net, shook hands with the umpire, picked up a loose ball from the grass and punted it into the crowd before heading into the stands to hug his parents and his coach, Juan Carlos Ferrero.