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Djokovic 'can dominate Federer & Nadal again'

  • Posted: Jul 15, 2018

In the end, it was a straightforward Wimbledon men’s singles final victory for Novak Djokovic, but it followed a lengthy battle back to the top.

The 31-year-old’s three-set victory over Kevin Anderson on Centre Court on Sunday earned him his fourth Wimbledon title and 13th Grand Slam singles crown.

The Serb is now one behind American great Pete Sampras in terms of Slam titles, with contemporary rivals Rafael Nadal (17) and Roger Federer (20) out in front and still in the form to win more.

After two years of injuries and personal issues, is Djokovic once again ready to challenge the duo for the right to be called the greatest male player of all time?

Boris Becker, three-time Wimbledon champion and his former coach, ex-British number one Tim Henman and Patrick Mouratoglou, the coach of 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams, give their takes on the Djokovic renaissance.

  • Reaction: Djokovic doubted another Grand Slam win
  • Djokovic beats Anderson to win fourth Wimbledon title
  • Briton Draper beaten in boys’ final

‘Novak wants to be respected – he’s very sensitive’

German Becker coached Djokovic between 2014 and 2016, during which the Serb won six Grand Slams

Novak comes across as very cool, but beneath is a soft heart.

His family is his foundation, his cornerstone – he has been with his wife Jelena for more than 10 years, and they’ve been through thick and thin.

Is he shown the same respect as the big two? Probably not. We all love Roger and we all love Rafa, but it seems we “respect” Djokovic.

That’s something that bothers him. He wants to be on the same level, but it’s something you can’t buy. He’s playing in an era with two of the most beloved sportspeople in the world. That’s the situation but he has to deal with it. Fans aren’t against him though.

However, he takes it all personally, that’s his character – he’s sensitive.

I don’t think Djokovic expected to win another Wimbledon after two years of not being close. When he started this year he just wanted to be healthy and play, he wasn’t thinking of winning. During the clay season he was happy to just win a match. It was only at Queen’s, when he went to the final, he started to believe there was something left.

Regarding the future, Novak is super fit and very dedicated. He studies the history books and knows Nadal and Federer have more Grand Slams, though he won’t bring it up in conversation. He can play for two or three years more and win a few more majors – starting with the US Open.

‘Djokovic is back in the equation’

Four-time Wimbledon semi-finalists Tim Henman

The crowd are well educated and know what’s going on in the tennis world – they know he’s had a difficult two years, emphasised by how his ranking dropped from world number one to 21.

There has been a gap between winning Grand Slam titles, but this is number 13 and there’s no doubt with his renewed passion and hunger he will add more. The level of play he’s shown of late suggests he’s back to his best.

And looking into the future, you think of Novak’s physique. He isn’t carrying excess weight and he doesn’t put undue pressure on his knee, hips and lower back joints. He can go on many years.

It’s amazing to think that Roger, with 20 Grand Slam titles, is still in danger of being overtaken.

This Wimbledon win definitely brings Novak back into the equation, although some would say he’s too far back.

‘Champions don’t think like other players’

Frenchman Patrick Mouratoglou, the coach of 23-time Grand Slam singles champion Serena Williams

It’s his mindset – that’s why he is back to where he is. It wasn’t the real Novak on the court during the past two years

It seems to have all come together for him during the past month, starting with reaching the French Open quarter-finals. You saw the fighting spirit was back.

Novak never lost his game, he just lost his feel for the competition. – maybe it was his motivation.

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From a coach’s point of view, what makes a player the best of champions is not about the talent, it’s how competitive you are in the matches – how able you are in the big points, how able you are to turn a match around when you are in trouble and being able to develop your ability as a result of your work ethic.

These things come from the mind. The champions don’t think like the regular players. There is a huge difference between both.

When Rafa and Roger were winning everything, a new guy came along and became the top dog – that was Novak and that was because he is a champion. Others have tried, but they don’t have the same mentality.

Novak is in good physical shape and can play for a few more years. He dominated when Rafa and Roger played their best tennis, so he can dominate again.

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Champion Djokovic doubted another Grand Slam win

  • Posted: Jul 15, 2018

Novak Djokovic says he doubted he would ever win another Grand Slam before ending a two-year drought by claiming his fourth Wimbledon title.

Djokovic, 31, won his 13th major by beating South African eighth seed Kevin Anderson in straight sets on Sunday.

The Serb struggled for form and fitness after his 2016 French Open win, falling out of the top 20 earlier this year.

“There were several moments where I was frustrated and questioning if I’d get back to the desired level,” he said.

“But that makes this whole journey even more special for me.

“I’m really grateful to go through these mixed emotions and turbulence mentally. I’m human and we all have to go through that.”

  • Djokovic beats Anderson to win fourth Wimbledon
  • Murray & Azarenka lose mixed doubles final

‘I didn’t expect to be in top shape’

Djokovic dominated the men’s game earlier this decade, holding the number one ranking for 223 weeks and completing a career Grand Slam when he claimed the title at Roland Garros two years ago.

However, his form tailed off as he dealt with what he described as personal issues, before a persistent elbow injury also began to affect him.

He did not play the rest of the 2017 season after losing in the Wimbledon quarter-finals, opting to rest before returning at this year’s Australian Open.

Still it gave him problems, particularly during his quarter-final defeat by Hyeon Chung, leading to surgery at the start of February.

He returned for the clay-court season but after losing to unseeded Italian Marco Cecchinato in the French Open quarter-finals claimed he might skip Wimbledon.

“I did not expect to be back in the top shape already here in Wimbledon so quickly,” Djokovic said.

“If you asked me after Roland Garros, I would probably maybe doubt that.

“At the same time there is a part of me that always believes in my own abilities, believes in my own quality of tennis, what I possess.

“Whenever I come to the tournament and Grand Slam especially, I believe I can have a good opportunity to fight for the trophy.”

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Anderson still believes he can win a Slam

Anderson, 32, says he has a “lot of belief” he can reach another Grand Slam final, despite losing a showpiece in successive sets for the second time.

Victory over Djokovic would have made him the second oldest first-time Grand Slam champion in the Open Era.

Spain’s Andres Gimeno was 34 years and 206 days when he won the 1972 French Open.

“I definitely believe I have the game to win these tournaments,” said Anderson, who lost to Rafael Nadal in last year’s US Open final.

“Even though it was a huge goal of mine, if you asked me this time a year ago, I don’t think I could sit here and say I really believe that I can win a Grand Slam and a Masters Series and say it with the same self-belief and confidence that I can now.

“Obviously, that’s by no means a sure thing whatsoever, but it’s a big starting point.

“It’s taken a long time to get to this point. I feel like I’m on a great path.”

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Murray & Azarenka lose mixed doubles final

  • Posted: Jul 15, 2018

Britain’s Jamie Murray fell short in his bid to retain the Wimbledon mixed doubles title as he and Belarusian partner Victoria Azarenka were beaten by Alexander Peya and Nicole Melichar.

Austrian Peya and American Melichar, the 11th seeds, won 7-6 (7-1) 6-3.

Murray, who won last year with now retired Swiss Martina Hingis, paired up at the last minute with former singles number one Azarenka.

They saved match point at 5-2 in the second set but lost in the next game.

“I didn’t really return well enough, didn’t feel I served that good either,” Murray, 32, said.

“It’s been awesome, we earned it getting to the final. It has been a lot of fun to play with Vika.”

The warning signs were there for Murray and Azarenka in the seventh game of the first set on the Belarusian’s serve, which went to seven deuces before they held on, having fended off two break points.

Peya and Melichar dominated their service games and whizzed through the tie-break, winning it when Murray double-faulted.

Murray and Azarenka missed three chances to break in the first game of the second set and were then broken in the next game as their opponents looked increasingly confident and carried their momentum on to victory.

Scot Murray had initially chosen to miss the mixed event this year to focus on the men’s doubles to protect his sore knees.

But the opportunity to partner two-time Australian Open singles champion Azarenka, 28, persuaded him to take part.

For Azarenka, who has not played as much tennis as she has wanted because of a custody battle over her 18-month-old son, it has given her extra court time after defeat in the second round of the women’s singles.

“It’s been a great two weeks. We came up a little short but we’ve produced great entertaining tennis,” said Azarenka, whose shoe had her son Leo’s name on it along with a heart.

“It’s been important for me to play in those situations where the momentum changes a lot of time and figure out a way.”

The pair have not ruled out teaming up again for mixed doubles in the future.

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Djokovic beats Anderson to win fourth Wimbledon title – highlights & report

  • Posted: Jul 15, 2018
Wimbledon 2018 on the BBC
Venue: All England Club, Wimbledon Dates: 2-15 July
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button, Connected TVs and the BBC Sport website and app; Live Radio 5 live and 5 live sports extra commentary; Text commentary online.

Novak Djokovic earned his first Grand Slam title in more than two years by beating Kevin Anderson to win his fourth Wimbledon championship.

Djokovic, seeded 12th, won 6-2 6-2 7-6 (7-3) to claim a 13th Slam – his first major since the 2016 French Open.

The Serb, 31, quickly took control to win the opening set in 29 minutes, breaking twice more in the second set.

Djokovic saw off five set points in an even third set before dominating the tie-break to seal victory.

He dropped to his haunches just inside the baseline as Centre Court rose to acclaim the champion, hugging South African Anderson at the net before skipping over towards his box and celebrating wildly in front of his coaching team and wife Jelena.

“I had many moments of doubt, I didn’t know if could come back to this level to compete,” said Djokovic, who also won the Wimbledon title in 2011, 2014 and 2015.

“There is no better place to make a comeback, it’s a sacred place for the world of tennis, it’s very special.”

He is now in outright fourth place on the all-time list of Grand Slam men’s singles titles, moving clear of Roy Emerson and closing the gap on Roger Federer (20), Rafael Nadal (17) and Pete Sampras (14).

The former world number one will move back into the top 10 when the latest rankings are released on Monday.

It is his first title since winning Eastbourne last year.

  • Reaction: Djokovic doubted another Grand Slam win
  • Report: Britain’s Draper beaten in boys’ final
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Djokovic back to his Slam-winning best

Djokovic dominated the men’s game earlier this decade, holding the number one ranking for 223 weeks and completing a career Grand Slam when he claimed the title at Roland Garros two years ago.

Then, his cloak of invincibility began to slip.

After losing to Sam Querrey in the third round of Wimbledon in 2016, Djokovic alluded to difficulties in his personal life and his form subsequently tailed off.

Fitness also became an issue, taking two spells away from the ATP Tour because of an elbow injury, leading to him dropping out of the world’s top 20 earlier this year for the first time since 2006.

Now he is back among the world’s elite after a wonderful Wimbledon.

Djokovic broke twice in each of the opening two sets, dismantling 6ft 8in Anderson’s service game and grinding him down in the rallies.

Anderson rarely ventured forward and offered little variation – until the third set at least – but Djokovic nullified the increased threat to win in two hours and 18 minutes.

Slow start for Anderson after marathon match

While Djokovic’s troubles have been well documented, eighth seed Anderson has enjoyed his own renaissance in the past 12 months.

The 32-year-old cracked the world’s top 10 for the first time towards the end of 2015, but faced a catalogue of injury problems during 2016 and dropped towards the foot of the top 100 as a result.

However, he has battled back to reach two Grand Slam finals and a top-five ranking over the past 18 months.

While reaching last year’s US Open final showed he possesses an all-round game, Anderson’s biggest weapon remains his serve – which he lost in the opening game against Djokovic with a double fault on break point.

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Anderson struggled to find his rhythm and movement in a slow start, unsurprising after spending almost 11 hours on court in his previous two matches, and lost serve again in the fifth game.

While Roger Federer and John Isner eventually succumbed in those marathon quarter-final and semi-final matches, Djokovic was always going to be a tougher opponent to crack with the Serb regarded by many as the best returner in the game’s history.

Of course, Djokovic also had a lengthy semi-final against Rafael Nadal but he did not look like he had returned to Centre Court without the benefit of a day off.

After taking the opener, Djokovic continued to wear down Anderson and, helped by some unforced errors from the South African’s racquet, broke again in the first game of the second set.

Djokovic moved 4-1 ahead before Anderson finally started to ask questions of Djokovic’s serve, missing his first break point in what proved to be the final game of the second set.

Djokovic keeps cool after Anderson rallies

Anderson rarely ventured forward in the opening two sets, coming to the net on seven occasions, before changing tack and making 14 approaches in the final set alone.

It contributed to an even third set as both men dominated their service games until Anderson earned another break point in the eighth game – the first of the set – with the help of the net cord.

Djokovic cranked up the tempo, landing a first serve to see off the break point, only to offer up two set points in the 10th game with two double faults.

He managed to save both, despite many on Centre Court cheering when they thought he had hit a forehand long on the first, going on to hold for 5-5 and greeting the winning point with a huge roar towards the crowd.

Djokovic’s next service game also came under pressure as Anderson could not convert three further set points – and his failure to do so proved costly.

Djokovic raced 4-1 ahead in the tie-break, earning four championship points when Anderson dumped a forehand into the net.

The South African saved the first with a smash, but was powerless to save the second as Djokovic hit a first serve down the middle which could only be returned into the net.

“I am definitely not feeling as fresh as I was coming into the week,” smiled Anderson.

“But I’d have given another 21 hours to have the opportunity to play out here, it really meant a lot to me.”


Three-time Wimbledon champion and former Djokovic coach Boris Becker on BBC TV

Djokovic is super-fit, very dedicated. He studies the history books, he knows Nadal and Federer have more Grand Slams though he won’t talk about it. He can play for two or three years more years and win a few more majors.

Four-time Wimbledon semi-finalist Tim Henman on BBC TV

When you reflect on Anderson’s last three matches, he had to play the match of his life against Federer from two sets down.

Then he has to play the new match of his life against Isner. Then to come back on finals day to beat Djokovic is a step too far.

He showed guts and determination, he hung in there and created opportunities. If he could have got the third set there might have been a second wind.

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Wimbledon 2018: GB's Jack Draper beaten by Tseng Chun-hsin in boys' final

  • Posted: Jul 15, 2018
Wimbledon 2018 on the BBC
Venue: All England Club, Wimbledon Dates: 2-15 July
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button, Connected TVs and the BBC Sport website and app; Live Radio 5 live and 5 live sports extra commentary; Text commentary online.

Britain’s Jack Draper lost to Taiwanese top seed Tseng Chun-hsin in a gripping boys’ singles final at Wimbledon.

Draper, hoping to become the first British boys’ champion since 1962, was beaten 6-1 6-7 (2-7) 6-4 by fellow 16-year-old Tseng.

Watched by a packed Court One, who were vocal in support for the young Briton, Draper gave himself hope by taking the second set but was let down by a huge 42 unforced errors.

Tseng sealed victory with an ace.

  • Is Jack Draper the next star of British tennis?
  • Djokovic beats Anderson to win Wimbledon

Previous winners of the boys’ title include 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer, and while there are plenty of big names who never won a junior Slam, on this year’s form Tseng could be a player to watch in the future.

A winner at this year’s junior French Open and runner-up at January’s event at the Australian Open, Tseng had not dropped a set in his previous five rounds here.

After the first set it looked like it was going to be straightforward for him before Surrey-born Draper staged an impressive fightback to take the second set.

But Draper’s wayward shots, as well as flashes of temper – he had to swap racquets after smashing one into the grass – were costly against the calm Tseng.

The left-hander handed match point to the Taiwanese when he missed a straightforward volley at the net, lying on the grass in disbelief, before Tseng wrapped up the title with his ninth ace of the match.

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