July 1-14, 2019; 128 draw (32 seeds); Surface – Grass
Summaries taken from ATP articles (a little blend with others) with my blue notes…
Final: (1)Novak Djokovic d. (2)Roger Federer 7-6(5), 1-6, 7-6(4), 4-6, 13-12(3)
World No. 1 Djokovic captured his fifth crown at The Championships, Wimbledon, on Sunday with a thrilling victory over second seed Federer, the eight-time former titlist from Switzerland, in 4 hours and 55 minutes on Centre Court. Federer had two championship points at 8:7, 40/15 on serve, in the fifth set that lasted two hours and two minutes. It was the third major championship match that Djokovic saved two match points to beat Federer (also 2010 US Open semi-finals and 2011 US Open semi-finals). It was the first time since the 1948 Wimbledon final – American Robert Falkenburg beat John Bromwich of Australia 7-5, 0-6, 6-2, 3-6, 7-5, after being three match points down – that a player had been championship points down and won.
Federer made a lot of the early running, aggressive on his backhand return and using his slice to force Djokovic to hit up and come to the net. In the first significant opportunity in the final, the Serbian recovered from 0/30 at 4:5, with two big serves and a backhand winner down the line. Djokovic gained an early advantage in the tie-break, but Federer worked his way back to a 5:3 lead. However, four forehand errors in the tie-break cost the Swiss, who was caught off balance on the run. Djokovic, who completed the 59-minute opener when Federer struck a backhand wide, at one point struggled to make inroads on his second serve (dipping as low at 42 per cent), but won seven of 10 points at the net and tightened up his game to commit only six unforced errors. Federer, who was aggressive from the first game, playing on the baseline, hit 21 winners and 14 unreturned serves.
Djokovic’s intensity dropped and Federer ran through the first four games of the second set -Djokovic first over-hitting a forehand wide in the opening game and Federer striking through a forehand to win the third game. Djokovic, who hit a double fault (his third of the match) to gift Federer a third service break in the seventh game, won just six of his service points, while his Swiss opponent was perfect on first service (9/9) and at the net (4/4).
Djokovic came through a fascinating 15 minutes unscathed, proving to be switched on at the start of the third set. Federer’s variation in service placement kept Djokovic guessing, but the world’s best returner started to zone in and, at 4-all, he won two of the first three points. Federer got out of trouble and put the pressure back on Djokovic with a sensational low backhand volley winner off his feet at 5:4, with Djokovic serving at 30/30. Djokovic found the line with a serve on Federer’s set point chance and the intensity increased, highlighted by a 26-stroke rally to open that 12th game that ended with Federer striking a backhand winner down the line. From that moment on, Djokovic won the next seven points and took a 3:0 lead in the tie-break. The set ended when Djokovic got Federer on the run. Federer lost just three of his first-service points and hit 13 winners – four more than Djokovic – but unforced errors in the tie-break cost the Swiss.
Federer, as he did regularly against Nadal in the semi-finals on Friday, began to attack anything shorty to rush Djokovic, who lost his serve at 2-all when the Serbian hooked a backhand wide. Now stepping inside the baseline on backhand returns, Federer broke serve for a second time and a 5:2 advantage when Djokovic over-hit a backhand long. Djokovic regrouped and dug deep in the next game, breaking serve for the first time on his second break point chance, when a tired-looking Federer hit a slice backhand into the net. Perhaps, a hangover, as a result of saving the first break point with a backhand winner to end a 35-stroke rally. Djokovic soon closed the gap to 4:5, but Federer’s serve held up and he finished with a drive volley forehand winner – his 14th.
Djokovic made his move at 3:2 in a high-quality passage of play, winning the first three of the first four points on Federer’s serve, courtesy of deep backhand returns. His backhand did the damage once more, when it forced Federer to approach the net, resulting in a winning pass for a 4:2 advantage. But Federer reverted to his aggressive tactics of the first set, using his backhand slice to manoeuvre Djokovic around the court, resulting in a forehand error from the World No. 1. A double fault at 5-all, 15/15, left Djokovic feeling anxious, and a dive volley forehand helped the Serbian to the next point and later maintain his game advantage in the decider. Into the 15th game, Federer began to cut down on his groundstroke pace and rally with Djokovic and draw out the error. Djokovic’s forehand broke down at 7-all and, on break point, Federer ripped a forehand crosscourt winner to seal an 8:7 lead. Moments later, his serve got him to 40/15 – two championship points — but Djokovic was not finished yet. Federer mis-timed a forehand wide on the first point, then Djokovic produced a forehand crosscourt winner at 40/30 and went on to break. The Serbian then held to lead once again. As the first men’s singles match of The Championships edged closer to a deciding set at 12-12 in the fifth set, Djokovic was relieved to get out of dangerous in the 23rd game. Having led 40/0, he let slip four straight points, but battled to save one break point with an approach to the net that forced Federer to hit a backhand slice wide. Timely first serves paid dividends, in addition to a high volley winner on a second break point, as the pressure shifted once again to Federer. A volley error by Federer on the third point of the tie-break handed Djokovic the early advantage and he held his nerve to join Sweden’s Bjorn Borg and Great Britain’s Laurence Doherty as a five-time Wimbledon champion. Stats of the match
2nd semifinal: (2)Roger Federer d. (3)Rafael Nadal 7-6(3), 1-6, 6-3, 6-4
Federer booked a place in his 12th final at The Championships, where he will attempt to lift a record-extending ninth trophy after a tactical masterclass against his long-time rival, Nadal, a two-time former titlist, on Friday at Wimbledon. The Swiss superstar played at his aggressive best on return of serve, at the net and in long rallies to beat World No. 2 Nadal in their semi-final, which lasted 3 hours and 2 minutes, on Centre Court. Nadal stood deep behind the baseline on return of serve and Federer soon picked up on the ploy, exposing the angles of the court and serve and volleying with great frequency. The match, played in breezy conditions at the All England Club, went with serve to the tie-break, but Federer did have a break point on Nadal’s serve at 4:3, 40/30, when the Spaniard’s excellent footwork helped. Nadal got himself out of trouble at 5:6, 40/0, losing three straight points, but in the tie-break raised his game to lead 3:2. From that point, Federer went on the attack, stepping into the court and rushing the net to win five of the next six points to clinch the 52-minute opener. Federer completed the set with a forehand, his 16th winner. Federer rode the momentum and broke early in the 4th set and later a deep forehand return helped him set up his first match point opportunity at 5:3. Nadal got back to ‘deuce’ with a well-placed serve that the Swiss returned long and a second match point chance came and went, with Nadal serving out wide in the a d-court. Upon winning the game for 4:5, Nadal ran to his chair and proceeded to take off the strapping on his left foot. A break point soon went begging with a backhand error to end an 11-stroke rally, and Federer could not convert two further match points, but at the fifth time of asking he earned his 38th match win of the season. Federer pumped his fists in celebration. He struck 51 winners, including 14 aces, saving six of eight break points against Nadal, who committed 25 unforced errors. “It’s been a tough one. I had my chances, but he played a little bit better than me,” said Nadal. “Probably I didn’t play as good as I did in the previous rounds, and he played well. So he deserves it. Congrats to him.” Stats of the match
1st semifinal: (1)Novak Djokovic d. (23)Roberto Bautista 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2
World No. 1 Djokovic weathered a mid-match dip in form against Bautista on Friday afternoon to book his place in a sixth final at The Championships, Wimbledon. The four-time champion ended the run of Spanish No. 23 seed Bautista on Centre Court over 2 hours and 48 minutes for a place in his 25th Grand Slam championship title match (15-9 lifetime). “It’s the final of Wimbledon. This is the kind of match that I always dreamed of being part of as a young boy with the tennis racquet. This is what I worked for. I wanted to be in this position,” said Djokovic. “I have a chance to fight for a trophy. Regardless of who’s across the net or what is happening, I’ll definitely give it my all.” Bautista won the first point of the match with a forehand, but Djokovic immediately took control, content on rallying with the Spaniard from the baseline. Through two games, Bautista had committed four forehand errors in his first Grand Slam championship semi-final and Djokovic turned the screw en route to a 3:0 advantage. Bautista settled after winning his first service game in the fourth game, but Djokovic’s relentless intensity meant he won few easy points. Djokovic completed the 37-minute first set with a backhand return, which saw Bautista Agut overhit a forehand in response. Djokovic won 93 per cent of his first-service points and committed just five unforced errors in the opening passage of play. With his first love service hold, Bautista relaxed and he broke Djokovic to 15 for a 2:1 lead after a powerful forehand winner. Errors began to creep into Djokovic’s game, but shortly prior to the start of the fifth game, a spectator was taken ill courtside and play was suspended for a few minutes. Upon the resumption of play, Djokovic recovered from 15/40 with four straight points for 2:3, but Bautista Agut remained aggressive and was comfortable in attacking the net to finish points. The 31-year-old seized upon Djokovic’s dip in form, losing just four of 24 service points in the second set that lasted 45 minutes and ended with a forehand net cord winner. “I think I deserved a little bit more in the third set,” said Bautista Agut. “The third set for me was the best set of the match. We both played very good tennis.”
(1)Novak Djokovic d. (21)David Goffin 6-4, 6-0, 6-2
Winning 10 points in a row is impressive. Claiming 10 games in a row in the Wimbledon quarter-finals is on another level. That is exactly what defending champion Djokovic did on Wednesday, overcoming an early deficit against 2017 ATP Finals runner-up Goffin to beat the No. 21 seed in 1 hour and 57 minutes. The World No. 1 is into his ninth semi-final at the All England Club, tying Boris Becker, Arthur Gore and Herbert Lawford for the third-most trips to the last four here all-time. Djokovic is pursuing his fifth crown at SW19, and a victory at this event would also give him his fourth Grand Slam crown in his past five major tournaments. “I’ve been playing [my] best tennis in this tournament in the past two rounds, the fourth round and today, especially today [in the] second set and third set against Goffin, who was in-form. I felt like I managed to dismantle his game and always find the right shots. Very pleased with the performance,” Djokovic said. “This match could have gone [a] different way. I was a break down. He was the better player for most of the first set. But I managed to turn things around.”
(23)Roberto Bautista d. (26)Guido Pella 7-5, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
Bautista took his chances and recovered from a third-set let down on Wednesday at Wimbledon to book a place in his first Grand Slam championship semi-final. The No. 23 seed from Spain lost his first set at the grass-court major, but won over the Argentine, No. 26 seed, in 3 hours and 8 minutes on No. 1 Court at the All England Club. “I think I played a great tournament,” said Bautista Agut. “I was playing very good in the first week of the tournament. And today, it was a very difficult match. Guido Pella is a good opponent, has won really good matches this week [and] he was really tough to beat… I’m very happy.” “I think after the first two sets, I was feeling a little bit tired, but just because of this match,” said Pella. “Roberto, his game is similar to my game. I think he’s the most solid guy on tour maybe behind Djokovic. I think, now, in this tournament he’s playing very, very good. I think I did my best. Of course, maybe in a few moments of the match, I could play a little bit more aggressive or a little bit better, but I can’t decide if I play good or bad. So I tried to do my best.”
(3)Rafael Nadal d. Sam Querrey 7-5, 6-2, 6-2
Querrey’s biggest weapon – his serve – had been the focal point in the lead up to his Wimbledon quarter-final against Nadal. The American had been broken only once in 72 service games this fortnight. But reality is better than theory, and on the court Wednesday, it was the Spaniard’s serve that stole the attention and helped him set up his 40th match-up and first at Wimbledon since their legendary 2008 final, with longtime rival Federer. Nadal fought off Querrey, who wasn’t intimidated by the occasion, to reach his seventh Wimbledon semi-final and 32nd overall at the Grand Slam level, best for third in the Open Era. “[It’s] a great feeling to be back in the semi-finals, be able to be playing at this level of tennis… [I’m] very happy the way that we managed to be in that round,” Nadal said. “Now to play against Roger always is a unique situation. Excited to be back on this court against him after 11 years. Means a lot for me and probably for him, too. Excited about this match, excited about this opportunity to be again in that round against him. Always I say the same: of course, the opportunities to play against each other every time are less, but we still here. After tomorrow we going to have another chance.”
(2)Roger Federer d. (8)Kei Nishikori 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-4
The number ‘100’ is proving an important one for Roger Federer in 2019. Earlier this year, the 37-year-old Swiss earned his 100th tour-level title in Dubai. And on Wednesday, Federer beat No. 8 seed Kei Nishikori to earn his 100th Wimbledon match win, advancing to the semi-finals at the All England Club for a record 13th time. Eight-time champion Federer is the first player in history to earn 100 victories at a Grand Slam championship. Former World No. 1 Jimmy Connors had been closest to accomplishing the feat before Federer’s run this fortnight. The American won 98 matches at the US Open. “It’s special… It’s been a lot of years I’ve been coming here. That’s given me the opportunity to win a lot, naturally. I didn’t think of it while I was playing today. Actually not at all, not once. Then as I’m signing, the guy says, ‘Congratulations for your 100,'” Federer said. “It’s nice, because if I look back at the hundred that have happened, some were so incredibly cool. Today again was a big match going into the semis [to face] Rafa, now that he won. A hundred wins here at Wimbledon. Who would have thought? I didn’t, for sure.”