Novak Djokovic defeats Rafael Nadal in super-human epic to reach Wimbledon final

By Daily Sports on July 15, 2018

Views: 149

Novak Djokovic returned to the Wimbledon final for the first time since 2015 after defeating Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals in a five hour and 15 minutes epic.

The 12-time Grand Slam champion has not contested a major final since losing to Stan Wawrinka in the US Open final two years ago, with injury and a loss of form halting his progress.

Some had questioned whether the 31-year-old would ever return to his peak, particularly after a miserable start to the year, but he performed magnificently in an epic battle on Centre Court as he gave himself a shot of clinching a fourth Wimbledon title against Kevin Anderson on Sunday.

It was their first meeting at The Championships since the final in 2011 – the same year where Nadal made his last appearance in the semi-finals at Wimbledon – while it was only their first encounter at a major for three years. It was well and truly worth the wait.

The pair produced the match of the year, with Djokovic ultimately triumphing 6-4 3-6 7-6 (11-9) 3-6 10-8 to inflict just the third defeat upon Nadal in 2018, in a match that was similar to the Australian Open final in 2012 – the longest Grand Slam final in history.

To play tennis for well over five hours is a feat in itself, to play at this level throughout is just super-human.

Both men had won 107 points a piece when play was called to a halt just after 11pm on Friday night but Djokovic crucially clinched the third-set tiebreaker – saving three set points on his way to a 2-1 lead.

Fascinatingly, the match resumed on Centre Court under the roof – despite it being a gloriously sunny Saturday at the All England Club.

Wimbledon chiefs had ruled that the match would continue under the same conditions in which it started, unless both players agreed to change them. There was little motivation for Djokovic, one of the finest indoor players of all time, to agree to that.

Under the watchful eye of princesses Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle, the pair picked up where they left off, producing tennis fit for royalty.

In a 16-minute opening game in the fourth set, Nadal saved two break points before breaking himself for a 2-0 lead.

Djokovic was quick to respond, breaking the world No. 1 to 15 to get himself back on serve before holding with ease to level at 3-3.

Nadal got his nose in front again, though, and served out the set from 0-40 down.

Just after 2pm – when the women’s final between Serena Williams and Angelique Kerber was due to start – the fifth set began.

That delay was not a great look for All England Club chiefs, particularly after being so stubborn over not moving the men’s final due to a clash with the World Cup.

The length of both semi-finals had caused the problem. Anderson and John Isner’s six-and-a-half-hour marathon match had set the record for the longest semi-final in the tournament’s history, Djokovic and Nadal’s near five-hour encounter became the third longest.

Kerber and Williams were the clear losers of the situation, with both left anxiously waiting for their time to shine. That match will take place with the roof off.

In the fifth, Djokovic set up the first break point chance at 4-3, but could only dump a return into the net before Nadal thumped two humongous forehand winners past him to hold.

The next game, Djokovic dragged a forehand wide and gifted Nadal two break points but the Serb showed great nerve to hold and keep the decider on serve.

A tense series of games followed and Djokovic exploded with anger as he missed another return – screaming at his box as Nadal levelled at 7-7 after four hours and 48 minutes played.

After losing his cool, he was forced to dig deep again, saving three break points – the third with a truly brilliant forehand passing shot.

He set up a match point after five hours and five minutes but Nadal produced a stunning drop-shot to hold.

It was Djokovic’s day, though, and he broke to take the decider 10-8 and set up a final with Anderson. (Metro)

Source Daily Sports

Posted July 15, 2018

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+


 

You may also like...
Mikel to captain Team Nigeria in Rio

Fifa looking into Russia football doping claims

Arsenal boost chances as 2015 Premiership favourites (Arsenal...

Rio 2016: Obisia Nwamkpa slams Dalung, federation presidents...

Paralympics 2016: Uncertainty surrounds Nigeria’s participation

Super Eagles not yet ready for World Cup...

 

Latest News Cycling Lagos 2018 organisers parade partners, cyclists at mini tour ahead of grand finale Nigeria's Falconets hold China 1-1, qualify for U-20 World Cup knockout stages Power Tussle: Giwa Sacks NFF General Secretary Sanusi Allegri eyes Champions League crown after watching Ronaldo score first Juventus goal Willian says there is 'no chance' he would have stayed at Chelsea under Antonio Conte Petr Cech quarels with Leverkusen on Twitter Man City boss Guardiola: Sterling naturally fit – thanks to Mum and Dad Francis reiterates Enyimba’s desire for win in Bamako ATP Toronto: Rafael Nadal upends Stefanos Tsitsipas to write history Nigerian Football on My Mind Ronaldo scores on Juve debut Falconets Must Beat China – Coach

 

Most Read Rangers International going, going . . . (44,128 views) Amaju Pinnick: A cat with nine lives (36,258 views) Missing $150,000 IAAF Grant: Solomon Dalung’s Hide and Seek game (35,113 views) Sports Development: Zenith Bank on the zenith (34,109 views) Current issues in Nigerian sports: Matters arising (33,179 views) Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje’s solid footprints, commitment to sports development in Kano State (32,921 views) Commonwealth Games 2018: Shame of Muhammadu Buhari, Solomon Dalung (32,425 views) Olopade, BET9A wave of revolution in NNL (32,114 views) Ibrahimovic’s Man U exit: Whose decision is it? And in whose interest? (29,427 views) World Cup Friendlies: Eagles Beware! (28,648 views) Let’s save Kelechi Emeteole's life! Let’s follow Omeruo, others' shining examples (28,485 views) Nkechi Obi and Nationwide League: One success story (27,870 views)

 

 

 

 

 

News Athletics (251) Basketball (102) Boxing (496) Columnists (322) Euro Soccer Update (3036) Fans Assembly (3) From the Grassroots (39) Golf (62) Interviews (14) Live Commentary (2) News (4045) NPL Glo Premier League (952) People and Places (22) Readers Parliament (5) Tennis (420)

 

 

 

Phone numbers

Tel: +234(0)8066020976
+234(0)8055068145
+234(0)7013416146
+234(0)8094272884

Email addresses

info@dailysportsng.com
support@dailysportsng.com
publisher@dailysportsng.com

Office address

No 3, Adetoun Close, Off College Road, Ogba, Ikeja Lagos.
Website: www.dailysportsng.com

Social Media