Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer had me glued to the television for nearly 5 hours. The Wimbledon men’s singles final was full of drama , swings of momentum and brilliance. Although I expected Novak to win as he usually does in slams v Roger, I was even more devastated following the shanked Federer forehand at 6-3 in the 5th set tiebreak.
Sport is not about style or elegance but winning and losing. Djokovic will not care that he may not have played particularly well or that he went through periods in the match that he looked rudderless and lost. He will remember the match for the battle between he and Roger, the tension the fatigue and ofcourse the crowd. It is his 16th grand slam title, he certainly doesn’t win one of them every given Sunday
Federer played well for the most part. He had two championship points which I am sure will haunt him forever. On the whole Roger was the aggressor, playing all the tennis and trying to win the game. He as he normally does played the game the right way and went out to win the game. Having worked so hard to make the tiebreaks, his performance in the tiebreaks were poor. Indecisive, nervy and unwilling to continue his good work from the set.
Federer fans perhaps will be a little bemused at just how Roger can go from his finest tennis to the tame tiebreaks in which he offered up countless examples of unforced errors off both wings. The tiebreaks weren’t good. It also seemed as if Roger was playing or at least hitting the ball a little slower than he normally did. Did he lack pace? Was this intentional? As a result of fatigue from playing Rafa? Or just a poor observation on my part.
Given just how well his aggressive backhand worked against Rafa it is a wonder that he varied that side so much against Djokovic. I suppose given that Novak is so comfortable from the baseline the correct use of slice can bring him from his comfort zone. He played the slice effectively against Novak but there were times in which I wanted to see Roger hit the cover off the ball.
Federer messing with my head.
Even at the outset of the 5th set I still maintained by Djokovic is the favourite stance .–‘ The younger fitter guy will win ‘ the message sent to my whatsapp group. At 4-2 the end appeared extremely nigh but amazingly Roger broke back instantly. I battled my inner Federer demon, not wanting to believe too much in him but also ready to applaud every shot the great man played. As a fan in the heat of battle it is so difficult to remove emotion from your logic and thinking. I have been bitten before and boy does it hurt. The disappointment from a Federer loss can be tough.
Wimbledon had me in the palm of its hand for the duration. Federer put me through the ringer and I tried my utmost not to allow myself to believe Federer victory was possible. But at 7-7 all in the 5th set you just cant help yourself. You dream of 21. 21 Grand slams. Imagine that. 9 Singles titles at Wimbledon, 21 in total. Was Djokovic the enemy in that situation? Well absolutely. Im not anti Djokovic or anyone else for that matter. But in a moment of such high drama, tension and significance every miss from the Serb I cheered (in my head at least).
Djokovic looked impenetrable for the most part save for second set. Federer couldn’t carve up the court like he could against Nadal and boy did he try. I wondered just how you go about beating a guy that offers very little in unforced errors? How does a player beat Djokovic. Over power him? Move him? I have no idea what works when Djokovic is on form. Novak has lost games in 2019, but in none of those games did he look as dialled in as today. Its a slam and ofcourse the best of the best can peak at the correct moments but when Djokovic is in the mood, who beats him?
Federer came close today, in the 5th set he beat him to within one point of the title. But the mental resilience demonstrated by Djokovic was out of this world. When he finally hangs up his racket he would do a good job as an emergency room doctor, you know he would never give up on you. Anger, frustration, disappointment are some of the feelings I felt when the game was over. I tried my best not to dream, tried not to hope but once again I was swept away by the Federer train. Well Done Djokovic. Your mental strength is incredible.