For a while, if you kept aside Roger Federer`s struggle in the last few years, his majestic play at the All England Club on Sunday afternoon, reminded you of one of his hay days where he used to be the best man on a tennis court. Despite that serve-and-volley approach, Federer seemed to be playing his best tennis, against a man who has been the most consistent player in men`s tennis of late.
It was a breathtaking final for tennis fans across the world. Federer, seeking his 8th Wimbledon title, continued to play sublime tennis which he did perfectly in the last two weeks.
Ahead of the match, Djokovic was the one who looked nervous, during the press conference and even during the customary ceremony prior to the much-awaited final. One might wonder whether it was fatigue as he played two hard-fought matches against Marin Cilic and Grigor Dimitrov ahead of the final, or was it simply the pressure of playing against the greatest tennis player on earth. The pressure on Djokovic certainly increased, the moment he lost the first point of the match, which was followed by a deafening roar from the crowd, which was much more than what Djoker received after winning the match.
But as the match progressed, Djokovic grew in confidence and the first set was a treat to watch. Federer saved two set points in the first tiebreaker and eventually won it. But Djokovic, who had lost five of his previous six finals, made a comeback by winning the next two sets. He looked all set to end the match when Federer was trailing 2-5 in the fourth set. But much to the delight of his fans, Federer once again displayed some spectacular tennis and won five successive games and the set.
Even though Djokovic was quite impressive with his service games, he was seen struggling physically in the latter part of the match. Djokovic slipped on the court quite a few times. He was also limping at times and one would have thought whether he would be able to complete the match. But it wasn’t for the first time we saw him struggling physically on a tennis court. He fought against all the odds and was rewarded with a second Wimbledon title.
Djoker was very emotional while he held the coveted trophy as even though he has dominated the Grand Slams over the years, the pain of holding the runners-up trophy after all the hard work, had begin to take its toll on him.
“At the time in my career, for this Grand Slam trophy to arrive is crucial, especially after losing several Grand Slam finals in a row. I started doubting, of course, a little bit. I needed this win a lot,” he said after the historic match.
Federer probably lost the game because his serve-and-volley approach failed against the Serb, who hit some incredible passing winners past the Swiss legend. Federer`s strength over years has been his perfection to hit the tennis ball from impossible angles for winners. While he was successful with his new approach against the likes of Stanislas Wawrinka and Milos Raonic, Djokovic had done his homework. Every time Federer came up to the nets, he did so after hitting a stroke towards Djokovic`s backhand, but Nole too was determined not to let Federer dictate terms from the nets.
Federer might have lost the match but he was definitely the fitter player on the court. Surprisingly, we didn’t get to see backhand winners from him, which have been his trademark over the years. At 32, it was a commendable effort from the Swiss legend, who made sure the crowd got entertainment worth their money and he fought till the end, ensuring, it was worth a Wimbledon final.
It was a fascinating contest where there was no loser for the tennis fans. We all witnessed quality tennis and a determined Federer parted off with a very positive sentence for his fans. "See you next year," he said.