Monday, 15 October, 2018

Djokovic tops Nadal in 5 sets to reach 5th Wimbledon final

Kevin A Breakfast Kevin Anderson Instagram
Cassandra Gardner | 16 July, 2018, 14:58

His desire to repeat that feat burns even deeper after he missed last year's NY showpiece with the elbow injury which threatened to torpedo his career after his 2017 Wimbledon bid ended prematurely at the quarter-final stage.

Djokovic was so dispirited by his upset exit at the French Open last month that he vowed, in the heat of the moment, to skip the grass-court circuit. Things were looking good. I have seen him play in Paris, in London, in NY, and the emotional backdrop is always the same: let's root for the other guy.

Anderson almost managed to extend the match, five times standing just a point away from forcing a fourth set.

Although he recovered in the third set, he failed to capitalize on his chances as Djokovic secured his fourth Wimbledon title.

Isner previously won the longest ever Grand Slam singles match against Nicolas Mahut, lasting 11 hours and five minutes over three days in the 2010 Wimbledon first round.

"I had the surgery and was absent from the tour for six months and faced for the first time, this kind of severe injury". He eventually had an operation this February, and as his losses accumulated, his ranking fell out of the top 20 for the first time in more than a decade.

Djokovic was delighted that he got to win Wimbledon gold while his young son watched along with the Centre Court crowd.

Under a pale blue sky interrupted by only the occasional soft white puff of cloud, with the temperature at 86 degrees (30 Celsius), Djokovic started so well, and Anderson shakily.

After losing last year's US Open final against Rafael Nadal in straight sets, the 32-year-old could be forgiven for fearing he will never win a major in an era dominated by the Spaniard, Djokovic and Roger Federer.

Plus, Anderson could be excused for exhaustion.

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Weary Anderson had needed five sets and saved a match point to beat Roger Federer in the last-eight.

In the hours leading up to the final, Djokovic's coach Marian Vajda brought along a guest to his charge's final practice session - none other than Philippoussis, who was used in a bid to counter Anderson's serve. In contrast, Anderson made 11 unforced errors, many of them coming from spraying the ball either long or wide.

It was so lopsided for the first hour-plus that spectators began pulling for Anderson, likely in the hopes of getting more tennis for their tickets, which carried a face value of 210 pounds (about $275). Didn't do a thing to alter the ultimate outcome, however.

That question - how do you return Anderson's thumping serve?

World No 21 Djokovic added the 2018 title to his wins in 2011, 2014 and 2015 as he became the lowest-ranked champion since Goran Ivanisevic in 2001. "Basically until the last shot, I didn't know if I was going to win". "'Am I going to be ready to play another five-set match on Sunday against somebody like Novak?' My body didn't feel great".

Another key: Djokovic handled the 6-foot-8 Anderson's big serves much better than previous opponents.

Isner (L) shakes hands with Anderson after the epic clash.

Until Friday, he had not dropped serve until Anderson halted that run at 110 service games in the third set. He pointed to his ear after winning one point, as if to say: "Who are you cheering for now?!"

When play resumed Djokovic immediately earned a break point but Nadal hung on in a 10-minute opening game. The bright yellow digits on there showed that Djokovic already led 4-1 after all of 18 minutes.

"It's easy to talk now and look back at it, but I really am grateful to go through these mixed emotions, turbulences as well mentally, moments of doubt and disappointment and frustration, anger", he said. "This is a sacred place for the world of tennis".

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