Novak Djokovic Wins Wimbledon 2011 Men’s Title

Wimbledon 2011
By Hiland Doolittle, July 3rd, 2011

The world’s top ranked player brushed aside any suggestions that he was undeserving by overwhelming defending champion Rafa Nadal 6-4, 6-1, 1-6, 6-3. Despite his 48-1 record, there were still whispers that he was not ready to win Wimbledon and that under the pressure he might revert to the temperamental play that was his trademark for several years.

Novak Djokovic Wins Wimbledon 2011 Men's Title

Novak Djokovic Wins Wimbledon 2011 Men's Title

This Wimbledon Champion is not that other Novak Djokovic. This Novak Djokovic trains, eats and practices with a new energy level. He is always the best-prepared player on the court.

The formula is working. He is the only player to be ranked number one other than Roger Federer or Rafa Nadal since the Fall of 2003, when Andy Roddick held the top spot for thirteen weeks. Novak can now add the Wimbledon title to the seven other titles he has earned this year.

Most impressive is the fact that Djokovic has now defeated Rafa five times in succession. A year ago, this seemed impossible. Were it not for Roger Federer’s semifinal upset of Novak, who knows what might have happened in Paris? Nadal still has an edge in the 28 matches played against each other. Nadal is 16 –12 against the Serb. Prior to Sunday, Rafa had never lost to Djokovic on grass.

In the first set, Djokovic seemed calm and undistracted. Both players served well but Nadal was definitely applying pressure by going for outright winners. Unfortunately for the Spaniard, this led to 11 unforced errors in the first 45-minute set. At 4-5, Rafa continued his loose play going down 0-40. He fought off two set points before Djokovic blasted a return that Nadal tried to take down the line, handing the set to Novak.

The second set was unlike any set Nadal has played in years. He was mistake prone and gambling for winners. Djokovic thoroughly dominated Rafa. First he broke at 1-0. After Nadal held serve in the fourth game, the champion brake again to take a 5-1 lead. What was happening was apparent around the grounds of the All England Club. Novak Djokovic was playing beautiful tennis, perhaps the best of his life and Rafa could not answer. Djokovic served out the set at 5-1 at love. He closed the set with 4 aces and 13 winners. Astoundingly, the Serb was winning 82 percent of his first serves.

Suddenly, Nadal seized an opening. Fans longed for a fifth set and Nadal gave them cause to believe. He broke Djokovic’s first service game and followed with a hold to race to a 3-0 lead. In this set, Novak had difficulty with his first serve. Points were not coming easily for either player, but Nadal seemed to have the upper hand. Novak was forced to track down extra balls and Nadal was converting the shots to winners. After winning the third set 6-1, Nadal looked poised for a comeback.

Djokovic awakened in the final set. He overcame a break point in the first game of the set and then captured a break to go up 2-0. Nadal’s 20 match winning streak at Wimbledon was on the line and he managed a break and a hold to even the set at 2-2. The crowd was into the match and begging for a fifth set.

At 3-3, Djokovic served a love game. He followed with a break to put the title on his racquet. When Nadal hit his last forehand long, Djokovic had achieved a lifelong ambition.

Djokovic was able to convert on 5 of 6 break point chancres. Nadal capitalizes on 3 of 5. The telling statistic is that Nadal could only win 44 percent of his second serves. Djokovic won 54 percent of his second serves and 72 percent of his first serves.


No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.