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Novak Djokovic consolidated his number one position and proved to one and all that he deserves it more than anyone else, by winning his first Wimbledon title today. He was at his best in a final that Rafa fans (including myself) were hoping to be closer than what it eventually was. Novak completely outplayed Rafa today, no doubt about that. And frankly, I don’t see any weaknesses in Novak’s game as of today. His service returns are the best in the business. His court- coverage is phenomenal, his shot placements are precise and 9 out of 10 times, impossible to receive. There is a lot of power and a lot of control, and he is serving very well. It was only fair that someone with a 47-1 win/loss record this year should win the Wimbledon. He deserved it.


However, being a diehard Rafael Nadal fan, my heart goes out to him. His face after the loss today, said it all. I don’t think I have ever seen Rafa that dejected after a loss. He looked devastated, though he did pretty well in the interview. As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, I believe Novak intimidates Rafa, and this year Rafa’s game has always dropped a few notches whenever he has faced Novak. I would say the same for today. He made too many unforced errors. He missed shots that he could hit blindfolded on any other day, shots he would never miss under different circumstances, and that too by large margins. This is the same guy who made barely 7 unforced errors against Murray the day before. Agreed, it’s not the same game against Novak. Still, Rafa’s mistakes were uncharacteristically too many today. Knowing that this is unusual for Rafa, I can only assume that something mental must have gotten to him today, something that threw him off his usual game in terms of control and precision. The last game of the first set was the real shocker for me, and perhaps, the turning point of the match. Who plays such a loose game while serving to stay in the set? No idea what got into Rafa then!

A friend of mine pointed out that during the pre-final press conference, when Rafa was asked about facing Novak on Sunday, he responded, as usual, by praising his next opponent, but his voice was very low in confidence.

Understandable, considering that he lost all his 4 matches against Novak this year. But that was before the streak ended, and those were best-of-3 ATP tournaments, not Grand Slams, different surfaces, and, before Rafa won the French. I think he had enough to be confident about, though that probably wasn’t the case today. As a side, I have to mention that every time Rafa is asked about his next opponent in a pre- match press conference, he has the same answer; claiming that the guy is playing very good tennis and that he is very dangerous; I love Rafa for saying this about every player he plays, but seriously, is there anyone Rafa considers not dangerous?


All said and done, Novak was the better player today and he got what he truly deserved. I am only hoping that in future, Rafa will have many more opportunities to win many more Grand Slams, and that the next time, he wouldn’t make so many mistakes and that he would give his opponent a tougher fight.

 

 

 

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