By Ros Satar, at Wimbledon

  • Novak Djokovic [12] def. Kevin Anderson [8] 6-2 6-2 7-6(3)
  • Djokovic wins a 13th Slam title
WIMBLEDON, UK – Novak Djokovic eased past Kevin Anderson to claim his fourth Wimbledon title, and a 13th Slam titles overall.

 

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Novak Djokovic [12] def. Kevin Anderson [8] 6-2 6-2 7-6(3)

The question would be just how much did either man have left in the tank after gruelling semi-finals, but more so how would Anderson fare.

After all the rangy South African had tough matches from his fourth round with Gael Monfils upwards. He was two sets and a match point down to Roger Federer before somewhere finding the self-belief and the will to win.

He needed that same will against John Isner in the semi-finals with another super-lengthy fifth set decider, going 50 games, 26-24 before he wearily booked himself into a second Slam final in less than 12 months.

But the accumulation of hours on court over his rival, who also went the distance against Rafael Nadal in a match that was spread over two days, really told. Where his serving had to be on point from the get-go, a double fault gifted Djokovic an immediate break in a first set. With a second break, it was enough of a cushion to give the Serbian a foothold in the match.

The momentum stayed with Djokovic in the second with breaks in exactly the same places to leave him one set away from a fourth Wimbledon title. The third set saw Anderson suddenly find a second wind – the competitive spirit we had seen in the match against Federer in particular suddenly came to the fore, as Anderson found himself with set points – five in all came and went.

Into a tie-break and you would have had to fancied Anderson’s chances, but once Djokovic started to pull away it felt like an uphill struggle for him to get back on terms with Djokovic taking his victory on a second match point.

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Anderson admitted that he had felt rough the Saturday after his semi-final, only hitting for 10 minutes, and that his come-back was too slow.

“It was a tough start for me. You always have high hopes. Going into the match, I was hoping to draw on some previous experiences, playing at the US Open in the finals, obviously playing Federer a couple days ago.

“I didn’t really find my form the way I wanted to. Of course, my body didn’t feel great. I mean, I don’t think you’re going to expect it to feel great this deep into a tournament when you’ve played so much tennis.

“I was definitely quite nervous starting out the match. Didn’t play great tennis in the beginning. I tried my best to keep at it. Definitely felt much better in the third set. I thought I had quite a few opportunities to win that third set, especially a couple of the points where Novak hit a couple balls, I thought they were actually going out, managed to land right on the line.

“I would have loved to have pushed it to another set, but it obviously wasn’t meant to be.”

 

Djokovic: “Son at the trophy ceremony made it extra special”

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It has been a long and at times very frustrating journey for Djokovic who perhaps rushed his comeback after elbow surgery, maybe setting him back still further.

He said: “It was a long journey, especially considering that elbow injury that took me out from the tour for six months. When I started training again, came back on the tour, played Australia, but I played with the pain. It was inevitable for me to go on a table and have a surgery, even though I was trying everything to avoid it, to be honest. It was the first, and I hope only, surgery I had. It was supposed to happen.

“After that I had a really good recovery, I thought. Maybe too fast. I got back to the court too fast. I wasn’t ready to compete. Indian Wells, Miami were not great. It took me several months really to regain the confidence, go back to basics, start to hit as many balls on the practice court as possible so I can feel comfortable, you know, playing on the high level.

It took me many tournaments. I couldn’t pick the better place, to be honest, in the tennis world to peak and to make a comeback. Wimbledon has been always a very special tournament to me, and to many players obviously. I dreamed of winning it when I was a seven-year-old boy. I made a lot of improvised Wimbledon trophies from different materials. I really always dreamed of winning Wimbledon.

When that happened back in 2011, when I became No. 1 of the world, in just a couple days all my dreams came true. It’s really hard to compare this year’s victory and trophy with any of the other three because they’re all special. But if I can pick one, that would be probably the first one and this year’s winning because my son was at the trophy ceremony, which made it extra special.”

 

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