Lack of love fuels Novak Djokovic desire to be top dog

Novak Djokovic with his trophy. Credit PA

Novak Djokovic with his trophy. Credit PA

An eight-time victor here, Federer was bidding to become the oldest player ever to win a Grand Slam in the Open era, but has now lost three Wimbledon finals to Djokovic. Djokovic calls the longest ever Wimbledon singles final the most mentally challenging match he has ever played, and outlines how he phased out the All England Club crowd's heavy support for his Federer.

Novak Djokovic never has been this close to Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the Grand Slam trophy count. In an epic match that will be considered one of the greatest tennis matches in history, the first ranked Djokovic beat the second ranked Roger Federer of Switzerland 7-6, 1-6, 7-6, 4-6, 13-12. "I mean, I'm not really looking at age as a restriction of any kind for me at least", Djokovic, the only man since Rod Laver to have held all four Grand Slams simultaneously, said on Sunday.

At 4 hours and 57 minutes, it was the longest Wimbledon final ever played and settled by a final-set tiebreak for the first time.

Federer is currently leading the three on 20 Grand Slam titles, Nadal is on 18 and Djokovic is now on 16 as the fight for tennis supremacy continues. "I had the most physically demanding match against [Rafael] Nadal in the final of Australia that went nearly six hours [in 2012], but mentally this was a different level, because of everything".

But Djokovic took the next two points and, eventually, was better in the closing tiebreaker, instituted at 12-all in deciding sets at Wimbledon for the first time this year. Djokovic won despite the fact that Federer won 14 more total points than Djokovic (218 compared to 204).

But he made crucial mistakes in the tie breaks on his way to 61 unforced errors, and when he blew his two match points at 8-7, Djokovic was ruthless in snatching victory.

The key: Djokovic won all three tiebreakers, the sort of can't-take-a-point-off segment of a match that is as much dependent on how capable a player is of steeling oneself as it is about this or that particular stroke.

"It had all the ingredients that it could've had, with Federer's two match-points, the length [of the match]. although the data shows that the 2008 final was better".

They were treated to nearly five hours' worth of world class tennis - the longest singles final in the history of Wimbledon - and, as far as Wimbledon finals go, it was one of the best ever.

"Whether I'm going to be able to do it or not", he added, "I don't know".

Federer certainly needs no convincing of that having now lost three Wimbledon finals in the last six years to his rival.

Neither do we. But it sure should be fun watching him try.

Latest News