Wimbledon – Day 14 (final)
(2)Novak Djokovic d. (1)Rafael Nadal 6-4, 6-1, 1-6, 6-3 [2:28 h]
There is no better place to confirm one’s supremacy over the biggest rival than the final in the temple of tennis – on Centre Court at Wimbledon. In the Open era, John McEnroe made it in 1981 (over Bjorn Borg), nine years later Stefan Edberg (over Boris Becker), Pete Sampras in 1993 (over Jim Courier), Roger Federer in 2004 (over Andy Roddick) and Rafael Nadal three years ago (over Federer). This time makes it Djokovic, beating Nadal for the fifth time this year (for the first time in career in a major #), which allows to predict his longer domination than a span of one season.
Nadal began the final very eager, produced two forehand winners as early as in the first three points, but Djokovic managed to hold his serve to “30”. Both guys were winning service games quite conveniently until the 10th game when Nadal leading 30-0 lost four points in a row. At break point in the 2nd game of the 2nd set, Djokovic impressed with a great chase to Nadal’s drop-shot; that point electrified the Serbian box and decreased Nadal’s self-confidence. In the following game, ‘Nole’ played his best tennis, and Nadal seemed boiled. He always fights to the end though, and despite a beat-down in two sets, won easily first three games of the 3rd set, which helped him to break a streak of eight consecutive sets lost to Djokovic! Lopsided match continued in the 4th set, Djokovic led *2:0 (30-15), but Nadal broke back, thanks to a lucky net-cord. At 3:4, Nadal finally saved a break point (at 0-40), but made a mistake in the following point. The last game of the match D’Joke began with a forehand mis-hit, but quickly recovered winning 4 out of the next 5 points. The biggest triumph in his career he celebrated like advancing at No. 1 in the world – lying on his back with a wide smile. In both cases it wasn’t an extended celebration, nothing more than the one after winning Rome two months ago, where – I assume – he realized that dethroning Nadal at the top, would be a matter of time. This victory snaps Nadal’s 20-match winning streak at Wimbledon – the fifth best result in London ##.
“I just want to congratulate Novak and his team for the victory today and his amazing season,” declared Nadal. “Always Wimbledon for me was the most special tournament, just to be here is a dream. When I won here in 2008 the emotions was very high, so I can imagine how he is feeling. I will try another time next year.” Djokovic: “It has been the best day of my life, most special day of my life. I always dreamed of winning this tournament. I think I’m still dreaming. When you are playing the best player in the world, Rafa Nadal, who has won two of last three Wimbledons, I had to be on top of my game and I think I played my best grass-court match ever.” ‘Nole’ captures the 26th title (three majors), but the first one on grass! Stats of the final
(1)Bob Bryan/MikeBryan d. (8)Robert Lindstedt/Horia Tecau 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(2)
# Six Grand Slam meetings between Djokovic and Nadal:
Roland Garros 2006, QF: Nadal d. Djokovic 6-4, 6-4 ret.
Roland Garros 2007, SF: Nadal d. Djokovic 7-5, 6-4, 6-2
Wimbledon 2007, SF: Nadal d. Djokovic 3-6, 6-1, 4-1 ret.
Roland Garros 2008, SF: Nadal d. Djokovic 6-4, 6-2, 7-6(3)
US Open 2010, F: Nadal d. Djokovic 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2
Wimbledon 2011, F: Djokovic d. Nadal 6-4, 6-1, 1-6, 6-3
## Players to win at least 20 consecutive matches at One Slam:
41 – Bjorn Borg (Wimbledon 1976-81)
40 – Roger Federer (Wimbledon 2003-08) *
40 – Roger Federer (US Open 2004-09) *
31 – Rafael Nadal (Roland Garros 2005-09)
31 – Pete Sampras (Wimbledon 1997-2001)
28 – Bjorn Borg (Roland Garros 1978-81)
27 – Ivan Lendl (US Open 1985-88)
26 – Andre Agassi (Australian Open 2000-04) **
25 – Pete Sampras (Wimbledon 1993-96)
25 – John McEnroe (US Open 1979-82) *
20 – Ivan Lendl (Australian Open 1989-91)
20 – Jim Courier (Roland Garros 1991-93)
20 – Rafael Nadal (Wimbledon 2008-11) **
* One walkover during streaks
** One year tournament absence during streaks (Agassi – 2002, Nadal – 2009)
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