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Federer Tries To Take Positives From “Amazing Tennis Match” In Wimbledon Final Against Djokovic

By Ricky Dimon


Roger Federer has won his fair share of epic Grand Slam matches throughout his illustrious career. He has lost more than a few such thrillers, too.


There’s the 2008 Wimbledon final, the 2010 U.S. Open semifinals, and the 2011 U.S. Open semifinals to name several that fall into the latter category.


This time around, in Sunday’s Wimbledon final, it looked like Federer was going to be on the right side of history against the opponent who beat him in those two aforementioned U.S. Open matches. Coming off a semifinal win over Rafael Nadal, his conqueror in the 2008 Wimbledon title match, Federer had every reason to take down world No. 1 Novak Djokovic.


The 37-year-old outperformed his Serbian rival in just about every statistical category: more aces, fewer double-faults, higher first-serve percentage, more first-serve points won, more second-serve points won, more net points won in terms of both quantity and effectiveness, more break points won and with a better conversion rate, more winners, and more total points. Only in unforced errors did Djokovic check a single box.


Federer also served for the match at 8-7 in the fifth set and had two championship points at 40-15 and 40-30. It was all right there for the Swiss to give himself–and the crowd–a 21st Grand Slam title, his ninth at the All-England.


Instead, Federer’s apparent Wimbledon coronation became U.S. Open deja vu.


Djokovic saved two match points, just as he had in the two semifinals at Flushing Meadows, and clawed his way to a 7-6(5), 1-6, 7-6(4), 4-6, 13-12(3) triumph that needed four hours and 57 minutes to be completed.


It was the longest final in Wimbledon history. Interestingly, it surpassed the 2008 final on the first point of the historic fifth-set tiebreaker when the clock hit four hours and 49 minutes.


Eight minutes later, it was finally all over–leaving everyone inside the most famous court in tennis unsure how to react. Djokovic’s celebration was muted, Federer was stunned, the Centre Court crowd crushed.


In his press conference, Federer was asked about how he recovers from a defeat such as this one.


“Similar to getting broken when serving for the match,” he explained. “Take it on your chin, you move on. You try to forget, try to take the good things out of this match. There’s just tons of it. Like similar to ’08 maybe, I will look back at it and think, ‘Well, it’s not that bad after all.’ For now, it hurts–and it should, like every loss does here at Wimbledon.

Roger Federer of Switzerland in action against Novak Djokovic of Serbia during their Men's final match for the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, in London, Britain, 14 July 2019. EPA-EFE/WILL OLIVER EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO COMMERCIAL SALES

“I think it’s a mindset. I’m very strong at being able to move on because I don’t want to be depressed about actually an amazing tennis match.”


While experiencing emotions at the complete other end of the spectrum, Djokovic agreed with his rival’s assessment of what had just taken place.


“It was probably the most demanding, mentally most demanding, match I was ever part of. I had the most physically demanding match against Nadal in the finals of Australia that went almost six hours. But mentally this was different level, because of everything.”


“I was one shot away from losing the match, as well. This match had everything. It could have gone easily his way.”


Could have…. Really should have, to be fair…. And it would have, with just one more point in the 16th game of the deciding set.


But, alas, it was not to be.


Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

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