Djokovic defeats Nadal in Wimbledon Final
So Djokovic proved he’s in Nadals head once and for all beating him in 4 sets in a relatively one sided Wimbledon final. Meaning he’s now beaten him 5 times in succession this year (all finals). And has only lost 1 match all season – to Federer in the French. A pretty good record!
The final to be honest was rather dull and definitely not up to the level that we usually get in a Wimbledon final (barring Berdych last year which was also terrible – no way is he a grand slam contender). Nadal made lots of unforced errors on his forehand, which was a surprise as normally that shot never breaks down. It’s his go to shot when he needs to make something happen. All Djokovic really needed to do was get the ball in play and Nadal eventually made an error. It’s weird to think that Djokovic played Nadal at his own game and came out on top. I wasn’t exactly glued to the TV but from what I saw, it wasn’t as if Novak was hitting through the ball a great deal or flattening out his shots that much. The usual tactic players employ against Rafa is to flatten out their shots, hit big and go for the lines. But Novak played good percentage tennis, defended well when he needed to due to his flexibility and served reasonably well. It seems Djokovic has found a blueprint to beat Nadal that works. Which is definitely preying on Nadals mind similar to how Nadal preys on Federers mind whenever they meet.
There was a brief Nadal revival in the 3rd set, where he broke twice to take it 6-1. I wouldn’t really say Rafa upped his game dramatically, Nole served pretty poorly and Rafa managed to get his errors down. Once he got the double break Djokovic pretty much wrote the set off and put his energy into the 4th. Which of course he won to take the Trophy. The 4th set in truth was very sloppy, both players were hitting very tentative shots and it boiled down to who made the error first.
As a Federer fan this match has given me a great deal of optimism heading into the hard court season and the US Open. No doubt Tsonga was a painful loss, but I have a feeling that he’s gonna practice pretty hard, and having seen Djokovic defeat Nadal he must fancy his chances of beating either of them. So maybe this tournament was a blessing in disguise. Obviously I can’t say for certain as I view Fed through rose tinted glasses whatever he does, but I just have a feeling that losing to a player who isn’t Nadal, may spur him on that bit extra.
I’m just hoping Roger can make a comeback of sorts and win another slam. There’s no real doubt in my mind he can mix it with Nadal and Djokovic. And when he plays somehwere near his best, he’s still up another level (French Semi final, and 1st set of the French final where he led 5-2) it’s just he’s struggling to maintain it.
All in all though, we have to pay congratulations to Djokovic, theres no doubt that he’s deserving of the Number 1 spot right now and he’s been the form player this season ever since the Australian. Whether he can keep it is a different matter, many pundits have been calling this a changing of the guard. However, it’s clearly stupid to write Nadal or Federer off. I know Djokovic won the final, but for my money Nadal played poorly and over the 2 weeks I actually thought Djokovic was slipping back to his old level (Bagdhatis match smashing his racket, Llodra and Tomic testing him). Perhaps this match will have given him new found confidence, but I still see it as a huge oversight to class this as a changing of the guard in grand slam tennis.
I’ve also gotta say that whilst Novak handles himself well, his family do him absolutely no favours what so ever – seriously they have zero class, especially his mother – she’s literally like a weight round his neck ruining any bit of positive PR he gets. So I’ll leave you with my favourite video just reinforcing this…