Roger Federer made it through to his 8th Wimbledon final, an Open Era record, as he dispatched Novak Djokovic in 4 sets under the roof on Centre Court. Few would have predicted that Federer would have been able to scale the heights and sustain over a 5 set match against the best returner in the game but yet again Roger proved us all wrong. The Swiss notched up his first break point at 3-2 in the first and swotted Djokovic to lead 4-2. He held his next two service games to win the first set.
The Djokovic fightback came as early at the start of the second set as he broke Federer and held to lead 3-1, 4-2 and then 5-2. The Serb really cranked up the pressure on the return and keeping big serves reigning down on his own service games. Djokovic sealed the second set 6-3.
In the 4th set 4-4, Djokovic had break points on Federers serve but Roger erased them with some clinical serving. At 5-4 down and serving Djokovic gave us the first indication of nerves as Federer went up 0-30. At 15-30 and Federer giving Djokovic a simple smash and put it beyond the baseline giving Roger a few sets points on the Djoker serve. In what would turn out to be the best rally of the match and possibly the tournament, both players played like cat and mouse, driving the ball from corner to corner, deftly slicing the backhands and amazing gets. Federer went inside out on his forehand and approached the net, Djokovic responded, Federer volleyed straight back at him and Djoker put up the lob only for the Swiss to smash the ball into the lush green turf. Advantage Federer.
Federer broke in the first game of the 4th set and had chances to go two clear breaks up but Djokovic held on. The Serb showed great resistance at 0-40 and 4-1 down to come back and win the game but in the end it was in vain. Despite the semi shocker in Flushing, the Swiss did not buckle when serving for it and sealed it with a return error from Djokovic.
A pleasant surprise for us Federer fans, Djokovic never really found his range and could not keep his unforced error count down. He consistently met Federer who made the court wider than most. In the past Federer resistance was weak but today he seemed focused and very steely eyed. He kept his error count low and served like he needed to, with variety and plenty of pace. Perhaps Djokovic came into this game flat, his fighting spirit was there for all to see but somehow in a game in which he was favourite, he messed up his lines.
As for Federer, the Swiss lives to fight another day, perhaps he can add to his 16 slam titles and if he doesnt he can always plot victory in this summers’ Olympic Games.