The Serbian defeated Kevin Anderson 6-2, 6-2, 7-6 (7-3) in the Sunday final, en route his 13th Grand Slam title.
Novak Djokovic is finally back to the winning ways. This victory comes after his long spell of injuries, which kept him off the court for an entire year, and off the podium for two. His last title came at Roland Garros in 2016. While the tennis world was dedicating it’s attention to Roger Federer’s reincarnation, the Serbian master was slowly looking to find his way back to the court. He started playing tournaments, big and small, keeping off the limelight, just to mark a comeback of this magnitude.
And what a comeback this has been.
He had been playing every major tournament this year. Starting with the Australian Open, he was giving it all against every opponent, but to no avail. He was crushed in the Italian Open semi-finals at the hands of Rafael Nadal. Later Marin Cilic got the better of ‘Djoker’ in the Queen’s Club Championship final. But his fans, in the haze of all these disappointments, could see the gleaming signs of resurgence. Novak was hitting his forehands like always, holding his grounds to tackle the best of serves, and gliding across the court in his trademark style. They believed that a championship point was around the corner. They were right.
However confident his supporters had been, Novak himself was not expecting this prestigious title,more so against the Nadals and Federers of the game, nevertheless, the self-belief, which saw him win 12 slams in the times of absolute Rafa-Federer dominance was still there. “I did not expect to be back in the top shape already here in Wimbledon so quickly,” Djokovic said after the match. “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 a Grand Slam especially, I believe I can have a good opportunity to fight for the trophy.”
The victory on Sunday was anything but a challenge for Djokovic. Anderson had certainly given it his best, and it shows in the quarter final marathon against Roger Federer and the semis showdown against John Isner, but in the final he looked out of gas, while Novak had saved his best for the ends. The champion breezed past his opponent in his very own fashion, reminiscent of his heydays. By the time Anderson could chart his dominance in the third set, the game was all but over.
After the game, once again he ate the legendary Centre Court grass, this time he even found it sweet.
Throwback? Rightly so.
Feature Image Credits: Sky News