As anticipated, it was a vintage tennis at its best at Wimbledon this Sunday when two traditional rivals – Novak Djokovic (#1 seed) and Roger Federer (#4 seed) locked horns for the title on the famed centre court.
Roger typically seemed to represent an old era when double handed backhand returns weren’t in vogue, when the likes of Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall and our very own Ramanathan Krishnan dominated the tennis circuit the world over with the heavier wooden rackets in use. Djokovic, a new generation tennis player with much lighter fiber glass rackets seemed to be born with double-fisted backhand shots like most other young talents on view these days.
Ahead of the summit clash both Djokovic (27) and Federer (32), when confronted by newsmen, had asserted that this Wimbledon title meant a lot to them. The former having earlier won it in 2011 was keen to add on to his major titles of 6 in his kitty; while the latter, a veteran, seemed equally hungry to get past his record of 17 Grand Slam titles, and more importantly, past his 7 Wimbledon title – a record that he shares with Pete Sampras.
The two great exponents of the modern tennis moved around the court with athleticism, chasing down every ball and were at equal terms with 2 sets a piece at the end of 3 hours 15 mins. Serving at 5-3 in the 4th set with a championship point coming his way Djokovic, however, couldn’t drive home the advantage, allowed his opponent to claw back to level at 5-5 who finally claimed it at 7-5, and pushed the match into the 5th set.
It’s often said that when a match goes into the 5th set, skill in tennis matters little, what matters more is the mental toughness of the players. However, in this match neither seemed to be short of mental toughness till the end and what actually, therefore, remained to be seen was who blinked first. It was Federer who stumbled at the last hurdle to hand over the glittering crown to his traditional rival.
Djokovic with this win wins back the crown, gets richer by 1.77 million Pound and of course, regains ATP world#1 ATP-rank dethroning Nadal in the process.