On a day where the majority of the sporting world’s focus was on the World Cup Final, Novak Djokovic quietly took care of business at the All England Club. Djokovic defeated Kevin Anderson 6-2, 6-2, 7-6(3) to claim his fourth Wimbledon title and 13th overall Grand Slam of his career.
How The Final Was Set Up
Both men entered Sunday’s final coming off five-set marathon semi-final victories. Anderson defeated John Isner in just over six and a half hours to punch his ticket to his second Grand Slam final. It was the second longest match of all-time at Wimbledon, with a ridiculous 50 games needed to decide the fifth set between the two power servers.
Not to be outdone, Djokovic outlasted Rafael Nadal in his semi-final match in just over five hours, spread across two days. In what was easily the most entertaining match of the tournament, Djokovic hit 73 winners to take down the world number one and advance to his first Grand Slam final since 2016.
The final appeared ready to be won by the player who was able to battle through fatigue more effectively. From the beginning stages of the match, it was clear Djokovic had a little more left in the tank. Djokovic broke the powerful South African’s serve in the first game of the match and never looked back from there. Djokovic needed a mere 29 minutes to wrap up the first set, committing just a single unforced error.
The second set saw much of the same as Djokovic continued to be aggressive on Anderson’s service games, breaking serve twice in the set. Up 2-0 in the match, the end result seemed inevitable at this point.
The Eagle almost mounted a comeback
However, Anderson was not ready to go quietly. He had come back from two sets down against Federer in the quarterfinal and was looking to do so again. Anderson came out firing as his serve returned to the dominant weapon it had been for much of the tournament. He doubled his number of aces from the first two sets combined, as Djokovic suddenly had no answer for it.
Anderson also began to approach the net much more often and began to find success in doing so. For the first time in the match, it appeared Anderson was beginning to dictate points and the momentum was starting to shift. Anderson was rewarded with five set points but each time was unable to convert, which ultimately proved costly.
The set remained on serve throughout and headed to a tiebreaker. Djokovic quickly raced out to a 4-1 advantage and took control from there. On championship point, Djokovic ripped a serve up the middle, which Anderson was only able to return into the net. After just a meager two hours and 18 minutes, Novak Djokovic had been crowned the 2018 Wimbledon champion.
Wimbledon was a huge positive for both players
While Anderson was unable to find his rhythm and movement for most of the final, it is still certainly a great step forward in his career. Anderson will move into the top five in the world rankings for the first time in his career. Anderson stated that he has been adamantly working towards this major milestone for nearly three years. He has established himself as one of the top players on tour and is sure to be considered one the favorites at this year’s US Open.
For Djokovic, this victory solidified his comeback to the top of tennis. Since the end of 2016, Djokovic’s game has significantly tapered off, plagued by injury and difficulties in his personal life. This Wimbledon triumph will put him back in the top ten in the world rankings and serve as a message to the entire tennis world: the Djoker is back.
- Brendan brings The Slice from Ontario, Canada.