So, Nole reduces the deficit with Rafa and Roger to one. That isn’t going to go down too well in a lot of sections of the tennis media and tennis fans to an extent. It is reality though and it sets us up for an exciting summer with Wimbledon and then the US Open. Could it all change? Will it all change? This has really started to hot up now.
Djokovic becomes the first male in the open era to achieve the career grand slam twice (Laver and Emerson had previously done this). It was an uphill battle to do this yesterday when he trailed Stefanos by two sets to love. I had mentioned the pressure of what was at stake could prove a stumbling block for the Serb. Also, the fact that this was obviously a totally different matchup. This was never going to be full of 20-30 stroke rallies for example. Tsitsipas came out relaxed and firing, the forehand working the point nicely. Djokovic was and tense and the errors on the forehand side were proof of that. There was non of this against Rafa. Different match, different pressure, he was expected to win the final.
The toilet break that followed cleared his head and from the moment he returned to the court he took control of the match. Stefanos was having less success on the backhand and indeed his return of serve, Nole zoned in on the weaknesses of his opponent. It was a much more relaxed performance from that point and the only worry from his point would be keeping it under wraps when he served for it. Djokovic said after (about the break after the second set) “Then I went back on the court, refreshed, like against Musetti. Then I got into his head. I have internal conversations in my head. After the second set, the voice telling that I can’t make it was dominant. It was time to erase it, to liberate my entire being and then I had an early break and I didn’t have doubt anymore.” That is pretty much how it looked from the outside too.
I am pleased for Stefanos that he came out here and gave a decent account of himself in his first final, sometimes you just have to accept the other player came up with the goods when it mattered. Something Djokovic has done more than ever in the last two rounds when the chips were really down. Whether you want to acknowledge it or not it’s a fact that Djokovic has once again proved he is the best player in the World as it stands. Both players are talking up their chances for Wimbledon now, let’s see where we are after that. Onto the grass we go.
Al Davies (Andy Del Potro).