Novak Djokovic: This Was The Best Quality Slam Final I’ve Been A Part Of, I Needed This Win!
by Staff | July 6th, 2014, 11:39 pm
  • 35 Comments

Novak Djokovic finally got back in the Grand Slam win column. After losing his last three finals since the 2013 Australian Open, Djokovic regained his winning form to win a second Wimbledon title and 7th overall Slam following a dramatic 5-set thriller over 7-time champion Roger Federer.

The Serb, who has now beaten Federer at every Slam, failed to close it out at 5-2 in the fourth allowing the Swiss to run five straight games. But Djokovic rebounded at the end, saving break points then breaking Federer at the end to win the match.

Thanks to his second career grass title, Djokovic also returns to the No. 1 ranking.

Afterward, he spoke to the press.

Q. You looked very surprised to me at the end that you won. Were you? Was it different than other wins in that respect?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I was just overwhelmed with the emotions, positive emotions, that I was experiencing in the match. I was not surprised, I was just trying to enjoy the moment, rethink what I’ve been through during the match.

Sincerely, this has been the best quality Grand Slam final that I ever been part of. I’ve had a longest final against Nadal in the Australian Open 2012.

But quality-wise from the first to last point, this is definitely the best match.

Roger played very well, I thought, in a very high level. He showed why he’s a champion. He showed a fighting spirit, composure in important moments when he was a break down.

When I was serving for the match, he came in and played his best game. I didn’t think I did much wrong there.

Was disappointing losing the fourth set after being so close to win it and match point. But the only way I could have won the match today is by believing that I can make it all the way until the end and staying mentally strong. That’s what I’ve done.

I didn’t allow my emotions to fade away, as it was probably the case in Roland Garros final a couple, three, four weeks ago.

Just very glad to win a Grand Slam final after losing the last three out of four.

Q. What were you thinking and what were you feeling when you weren’t able to close it out in the fourth set?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, those are the critical moments that a tennis player goes through in his own mind. Obviously the moment shifted to his side. He started playing better. Crowd got involved.

It was important to start well in the fifth, consolidate my service games, try to put pressure on him. I was the first serving in the fifth set, so he was always behind and trying to catch up.

That’s something mentally that was in my mind. Just hold your serve and work your way through in the return games and try to wait for the opportunity. When it’s presented, you have to grasp it.

I had 4-3, 15-40, but again he played some great shots, great points. Didn’t do much wrong there.

But I was very close in several occasions, even in the fourth, to win the match. But, you know, I could have easily lost my concentration in the fifth and just handed him the win.

But I didn’t, and that’s why this win has a special importance to me mentally. Because I managed to not just win against my opponent but win against myself as well and find that inner strength that got me the trophy today.

Q. How has the flavor of the grass changed in the three years since you last dined on Centre Court?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Very good question (smiling).

It didn’t change much. Actually I didn’t feel anything, to be honest. So I had a nice bite. I thought that there was less grass today than it was few years ago, so I had a little bit of a spoil, as well.

But nevertheless, it tastes like the best meal that I ever had in my life probably.

Q. I read a tweet by Ivo Karlovic who said you should have won all the sets you played today. Do you agree with him?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Ivo has always the best comments. Very criticizing over me. I’m kidding.

But, yeah, I felt like all the sets were very close for me to take. But, again, first set, you know, could have gone either way but went his way. He deserved to win it because it was just one or two points that decided the winner of the first set.

Second set I felt like that break that I made and held it towards the end very well.

The third, again, was very close. Won in a tiebreak.

In the fourth, should have won but he came back.

All in all, it was just incredibly high quality of tennis from both of us. We didn’t give too much one to another. We didn’t make a lot of unforced errors, so I think there was a lot of winners.

He served very efficiently, was using all the angles, was making it difficult for me to return.

5-4 in the fifth set he made I think only one first serve in in the whole game. That obviously helped me to prevail.

Q. Given everything you said about the mental side of it and how the match went today, is this the Grand Slam title you’re most proud of?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, yes, definitely. Very special. Most special Grand Slam final I’ve played. At the time of my career for this Grand Slam trophy to arrive is crucial, especially, as I said, after losing several Grand Slam finals in a row. Started doubting of course a little bit. I needed this win a lot.

I’m going to try to use it in the best possible way and for my confidence to grow for the rest of my season and the rest of my career.

Q. At the end of the match on court you said to Roger, Thank you for letting me win. Sounded like it was a joke; also sounded a little bit apologetic. Was it partially because the crowd was so in his favor, or was it respect for your opponent?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, first of all it was a joke. I think we didn’t have that kind of agreement before the match. Let me assure of that (laughter). Especially 6 4 in the fifth set, first of all. If we had that agreement, it would be much shorter.

No, as I said on the court, I respect him and his achievements, his career. He’s a great champion on and off the court.

To be able to win against him as one of my greatest rivals on this occasion on a court that he’s been dominating for so many years makes it a very special trophy for me. I had tears of joy. I was overwhelmed by the moment and the occasion.

And the second question was? Sorry.

Q. How did you feel about the crowd?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: The crowd? It’s normal to expect that after so many years of dominance and success that he had on this court, and courts around the world, for the person he is, to have the majority of the support.

But I wasn’t focusing on that. I was focusing on what I need to do on the court. I was also hearing the positive support that I got, as well, from the crowd, which I thought was not a small number.

All in all I thought the crowd was enjoying this match. It was a fantastic match to be a part of.


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35 Comments for Novak Djokovic: This Was The Best Quality Slam Final I’ve Been A Part Of, I Needed This Win!

Michael Says:

Yes, a very crucial win in Novak’s career. I think by winning this one, he conquered his inner demons which was tormenting his self belief in getting past the final hurdle. This is a match, if he had lost, would have totally punctured his self confidence and belief. It was evident that Novak was dominating the whole match and it was Roger who was playing catch up. Even in the first set, Novak led 3-0 in the tie break only to squander it mostly due to Roger’s superb play and partly due to his follies. In the third set, yet again, Novak had many chances on Roger’s serve but couldn’t convert it due to the sheer quality of serving at crucial moments in the match. There was also a point in the fourth set,when Roger serving at a speed of 98 Kmph and 30-40 down, audaciously came to the net and yet Novak couldn’t take that opportunity. Finally, in the fifth set, Novak shrugging aside all those disappointments and past history behind him, stood his ground and had the job done. Three cheers to Novak !!


Eric W. Says:

Well done! This match has liberated Nole from the mysterious demons that caused him to hand GS titles to less talented but mentally stronger opponents the past two years. Assuming he still has the hunger for success after matrimony and fatherhood, there is no reason why Djokovic cannot have another extended run of GS dominance. By the end of 2015, I see him at double digit major wins, health permitting.


Jo Says:

Many thought Roger could not any more win GS, and this would have been a walk in the park contest for Novak. But you know, in this tournament, had this not Djokovic was Federer opponent, no one could beat Roger the way and how super skillful he played in the tournament. A 5 setter close fight by the no.1 vs the they consider retiree. Congrats Roger.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

I really want Novak to have a glittering career, but I wish he could have got the confidence by defeating Rafa at FO, and had lost this finals against Roger.


jane Says:

i guess nole’s passed agassi at weeks at number 1 now (102). in seven more weeks he can pass borg.


Daniel Says:

Jane. 7 weeks is exactly the time for US Open to began.
I think if he defends his points in Canda (semis) even if Nadal does win Canada and Cincy (highly unlikely) and he loses frar round Cincy he will be seeded #1 in US Open which will give him more 2 weeks, 9. And if he is still #1 after US Open he will surpass Borg for a total of 112 plus the weeks until Beijing, so 115 garantee, with Nadal ahead of him by less than 30 weeks.

There is two blocks where both Nadal and Djoko defends 4000 pts. Nadal now in North America and Djoko after. So who ever performa better will be Year End #1.

On the rave to London I think Djoko has 7100 pts to Nadal’s 6700 I think. Historicaly Djoko always won more points than Nadal after Wimbledon (exception was last year, have to check but they were pretty close between 5500 to 6000). So with this small cushion lead of 400 pts he should hold #1 specially the way he is going deep in Masters. There is 8000 pta they both will play with 7 tourneys: Canada, Cincy, US Open, Beijing, Shangai, Paris, WTF.


Ahsan Najeeb Says:

How many weeks is Rafa at?


jane Says:

rafa is at 143 ahsan.

daniel if nole can hold it through the end of next year, he can also gain at the AO since he lost earlier than usual there. but it’s difficult to say. it’s very close between nole and rafa through the end of the year. both have a considerable amount of points to defend.


Ahsan Najeeb Says:

Following are the points attained in 2014 by the top three

N. Djokovic(SRB) 7,250
R. Nadal(ESP) 6,645
R. Federer(SUI) 4,560

So basically there is not much between nole and rafa and whoever plays the rest of the reason better will end up on top. Going by the history I would certainly go with nole ending up as year end no 1 but you never know. I would not put my money on it but fed is also in the reckoning and has the slightest chance of ending up as no 1


Goatexpert Says:

There’s no “top 4″. There never was. Its only “top 3″. Murray was lucky to win Wimbledon last year against a tired Djokovic who was drained by Delpo in the Semi. He was lucky to win the Olympic gold against a tired Federer who was again drained by Delpo in the semi (both matches over 4 hours). Murray never belonged in that group. No wonder he is ranked no 10 now!

Federer, though, has really lost some critical matches on grass at Wimbledon. The 9-7 fifth set loss to Nadal in fading light, yesterday’s 6-4 5th set loss to Djokovic, losing the Olympic gold match (by not winning his semi properly) – these 3 have been very costly to his legacy. Big difference between 17 versus 19 slams, 7 versus 9 Wimbledons.


Goatexpert Says:

Federer’s No 3 ranking looks safe. Till the end of the US open, the points to be defended are:

Nadal – 4000
Djoke – 1800
Wawrinka – 800

Federer has less than 600 to defend.

Djoke should definitely gain a few points, Nadal will like lose some (or plenty), Fed could gain a bunch. Wawa – tough to say.

I would say the top 4 will look the same after the USO, with Fed closer to No 2 than to No 4.


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Very classy comments by Novak. I saw posters comment that Novak was mentally weak, I think this shows Novak doesn’t feel that way. I’m with Novak on this. Fed was a beast to put down, he would not go away and he did ridiculous things under pressure. Every time Novak composed himself and fought back. And so, Novak says this is the slam he’s most proud of, and the best tennis. Yeah, I’m with him.
Novak’s comments on court were also incredible. I always enjoyed his humour, but my respect for him has grown so much.


Brando Says:

@Goatexpert:

-’ Murray was lucky to win Wimbledon last year against a tired Djokovic who was drained by Delpo in the Semi.’:

Oh really now Goat Expert?

Then please explain why after the Del Potro SF Novak gatecrashed into the BBC Radio commentary booth, was laughing and joking about matters and when asked would he be ready for the final he said:

No problem.

I eagerly await your ‘expert’ opinion on this matter, as it seems that you know more about Novak and his body more than Novak himself!

Quite remarkable I find that!


Ben Pronin Says:

The notion that Djokovic is mentally weak is outrageous. I mean just wow, what a blatant slap of disrespect to anyone who’s ever watched championship sports.

I was pretty shattered after the French Open final. I’m just a spectator. I can’t even imagine how Djokovic felt. Outside of the 2013 Autralian Open, he had lost 5 straigh slam finals. 2 of his last 7. No slams outside of Australia since 2011. That’s 3 years. I honestly wondered why he wasn’t just tanking in earlier rounds so as to avoid another harsh blow to his ego. But he never avoided the confrontation. Not against Nadal, not against Murray, not against Federer. Not on clay, hard, or grass. He just keeps making finals. He keeps absorbing tough defeats. And he keeps coming back. If he was mentally weak, he would have said screw this, I’m done training, done rallying, done fighting. But he keeps coming back for more. And it finally paid off.

How many heart breaking losses can one person endure before they finally break? Agassi had one in 95 and spiraled out of control for 2 years. I don’t think they come much tougher than Novak Djokovic. For Federer, it seemed like everything came almost too easy and he fully embraced his opportunities. Nadal, he’s the ultimate underdog on grass and hard but he found a domain in the clay and has owned it like no one’s owned anything ever before. But Djokovic, this guy is the definition of perseverance. What a fighter. What warrior.


nokay Says:

Ben, excellent post!

Don’t forget those pre-2011, post-2008 years when he was having trouble with his serve, but rallying his way to the business end of most tournaments anyway. How demoralizing must it have been for a top player to suddenly lose his serve because a bad coach tinkered with it? Yet, he played on, without taking any time off, and ended up even stronger.


Daniel Says:

Actually jane Nadal is on 141 as per wiki ATP #1 page.


Okiegal Says:

The fading light was the same for both…..you got to come up with one better than that, Goat Expert……that’s funny!


skeezer Says:

How can you call a player “Mentally weak” who keeps getting to finals of Slams and Titles?
LMAO.
Guess he got through the draw just being mentally weak.


skeezer Says:

@Goatexpert
He’s won some spectacular finishes also. Roddick @ Wimby?

Uh oh…that may bring up the “Lucky” thing or “mentally weak” subject again…..
(cowering back under rock…)


funches Says:

Yeah, the idea that Djokovic is mentally weak is preposterous.

Even when he was at his very best, he came close to losing matches on his way to slam titles. He was basically a point away from losing to Murray and Nadal at the 2012 Australian Open. He was a point or two away from losing to Wawrinka at the 2013 Aussie Open. At the 2012 Roland Garros in which he might have beaten Rafa in the final if the match had not been delayed overnight due to rain, he saved multiple match points against Tsonga.

Sometimes you win incredibly close matches. Sometimes you lose them, and they sort of evened out for Djokovic in the last two years after his amazing run during the previous two years. All careers have ups and downs, but he is the definition of mentally tough.


funches Says:

And since yet another poster has decided Murray is all hype, no substance, how about the fact he’s 9-3 in the finals of Masters events? No one else outside of the Nadal, Federer and Djokovic has won more than one.

Maybe it’s his body language on court, but Murray is so much a better player than most people give him credit for. Tennis insiders like Andre Agassi, who said for years that Murray was the most talented player in the world, overrated him a tad, but most fans underrate his ability.


funches Says:

A lot of people seem to think del Potro is more talented and more dangerous than Murray.

You know how many Masters events del Potro has won? Yeah, zero. He’s 0-4 in those finals.

That stat alone shows you how incredibly great you have to be in this era to win nine masters series events.


tennisfansince76 Says:

@nirmal kumar ha ha I had the same thought. It is a shame these things cant always play out in a cosmically satisfying way.


Michael Says:

It is difficult to believe that it was this so-called mentally weak player and worse, a choker, who unshackled the stranglehold of the FEDAL iron grip of supremacy on Tennis . No other player could even pose a formal challenge to these Legends who dictated the Sport and took it as their own, unless Novak emerged as a colossus rising as a phoenix from the ashes. He was in a way honed by Roger and Rafa who frequently handed him defeats in majors and Master tournaments thereby made him learn Tennis lessons in the hard way and this lad gained by his bitter experience over time, only to best them later and today proudly he is the No.1 player relegating them to the background. It is in such a harsh manner that he came to the top, fighting all the way and today this Gladiator is being derided as a Choker because he lost in many major finals. Well, a persistent Choker can never come to finals, win 7 majors or win 19 Master Series titles and 3 World Tour finals. If Novak lost, it is all due to his opponents play and not due to his choking. They played best under the circumstances and bested him. That cannot in any manner attributed to choking considering the past of this player who has come all the way fighting to the top. I can only request forum members not to belittle such a Class player by such disparaging comments.


Margot Says:

Cheers for that funches.
Really strange that people lord Fedal as being the all time GOATS, then pillory Andy for “only” being No 4 for all those years.
#Can’tHaveItBothWays


Margot Says:

@Michael
I have seen ALL the players get tight in clutch matches. They are human like the rest of us. Happens in football and I’m sure other sports. However, in individual sports it’s undiluted pressure. Tough.


Michael Says:

Margot,

Yes I agree and the players mental ability would be judged by how they handle this pressure cooker like situation and conduct themselves admirably or dismally. In Tennis, it is the individual player who has to play on court and take a considered decision and thereby you are held responsible for your own actions on and off the court. It is not a Team sport mind you, where you can liberally pass on the buck elsewhere. In a sense, that is the most tough part. Easy to always criticize, but too tough to handle. As a Player, you should be always prepared to entertain accolades as well brickbats based on your success or failure.


Margot Says:

@Michael
Did you see that penalty the Greek player got? Wow!
Major pressure, so brilliant to see his relief afterwards.


Sivaji Says:

Congrats to novak for his 7th Slam


Michael Says:

Margot @ 2.44 am,

Yes. It is quite difficult to maintain your composure and balance in such an atmosphere and I just bow down to these guys who handle such pressures admirably. Not everyone can do that. It is commendable.


madmax Says:

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I was just overwhelmed with the emotions, positive emotions, that I was experiencing in the match. I was not surprised, I was just trying to enjoy the moment, rethink what I’ve been through during the match.

Sincerely, this has been the best quality Grand Slam final that I ever been part of. I’ve had a longest final against Nadal in the Australian Open 2012.

But quality-wise from the first to last point, this is definitely the best match.

Roger played very well, I thought, in a very high level. He showed why he’s a champion. He showed a fighting spirit, composure in important moments when he was a break down.

ABSOLUTELY AGREE WITH NOVAK! Quality match from start to finish. So wished that fed could have squeezed it out, but it could not have been closer.

Mental edge to Novak here. Skill and determination was just brilliant.

Some lovely photos too in the papers of both players almost “high jumping” some of the shots. I love those shots. Timeless.


Okiegal Says:

I cant believe someone on this forum would allude to the fact that Novak is mentally weak. You have got to be kidding me!

Funches post 9:31 9:34 9:39……spot on.

Pressure is a big part of sports and I think Novak has shown lots of poise in tight tense pressure moments…..as funches said….you will win a few and lose a few. Mentally weak, not! You
can’t forget about the person across the net……they are obvious amazing players too, or they wouldn’t be in a final. Staunch Rafa fan here. The final was a great match and congrats to Nole fans and sorry for Fed fans.


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Huge respect for Novak for this match.


Tennis lover Says:

Cincy, Roger’s Cup, US Open 2014, none is going in the hand of Rafa, it’s a safe bet..I can assure it to fellow tennis fan here…. While, Roger’s grandslam winning days aren’t over whoever think it that way are dim-witted fool..He brought his A- game still wimbledon final was a cliffhanger..Djokovic won’t be able to raise his grandslam tally to double digit. Since, he won wimbledon, there’s no reason to think he’ll have a spell like 2011. I’m expecting different winner other than Nadal and Djokovic in US Open 2014.


Hippy Chic Says:

^Well thats that then i suppose,no point in any of them even playing?^….


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Top story: Rafael Nadal: I Am Not The Favorite To Finish The Year No. 1
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Rankings
ATP - Jul 28 WTA - Jul 28
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Rafael Nadal2 Na Li
3 Roger Federer3 Simona Halep
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Petra Kvitova
5 Tomas Berdych5 Agnieszka Radwanska
6 David Ferrer6 Maria Sharapova
7 Milos Raonic7 Eugenie Bouchard
8 Juan Martin Del Potro8 Angelique Kerber
9 Grigor Dimitrov9 Jelena Jankovic
10 Andy Murray10 Victoria Azarenka
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