First it was the snatching away of the world number one ranking and then the Wimbledon crown. Novak Djokovic did to Rafael Nadal on the last two days of the Championships this year, what Nadal had himself inflicted onto Roger Federer a couple of years ago. Djokovic claimed the Wimbledon crown on Sunday, beating Nadal in a four-setter, 6-4, 6-1, 1-6, 6-3.
Djokovic’s start was an amazing one. His first break point came in the 10th game of the first set when Nadal was serving to stay in the set. And he won the point to not only break his Spanish opponent but also win the first set. interestingly, Nadal was 30-0 up on his service game but was broken when he lost four successive points on his serve, including sending one wide on break-point.
And then, Djokovic ran away with the second set like a man in hurry. Djokovic broke Nadal to take a 3-0 lead before Nadal could even win a game. Interestingly, that had meant that Nadal had lost five games in a row, a rarity for the former number one star. However, that was the only game that Nadal won in the set as Djokovic held twice, sandwiching another break of serve to breeze away to a 6-1 win. Djokovic was up two sets to love and was looking good to finish his opponent off.
Nadal, made of sterner stuff though, first held his serve at the start of the third set and then got his first break point of the match in the second game. Much like Djokovic, Nadal won that point and got his first break to double his lead in the third set. In a set that was remarkably similar to the pattern followed by the second, Nadal and Djkovic then held serve, before the Slovakian was broken again. Nadal held out an easy service seventh game of the set to win it 6-1 and announce a comeback.
It was to last only one further game in the fourth set. Nadal had a chance to break Djokovic in the very first game of the fourth set but he held to go 1-0 up. Then, Djokovic got his chance to break his opponent’s serve and did so without fuss to make it 2-0.
Nadal broke back immediately when he got lucky with the net cord and made it 2-2 when he won an easy game on his own serve. The set went on serve till Djokovic broke Nadal again in the eighth game of the set. A poor service game from Nadal saw him go down 0-40 before Djokovic claimed the game on the second break-point.
If the Nadal fans thought that they could have a final hurrah from the defending champion, they were in for a surprise when Djokovic wasted no time in holding his serve and winning his first ever Wimbledon title. The Slovakian later attributed this to be the best match that he had played on grass, while congratulating Nadal for an excellent game of tennis.