Novak Djokovic v Roger Federer For The 2015 Wimbledon Title, Who’s The Pick?
by Sean Randall | July 11th, 2015, 2:30 pm

I’ll be honest, as I write this opening graph I still haven’t settled on who’ll win tomorrow’s delicious Wimbledon men’s final between the two best in the world, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.

A year ago, Federer wasn’t playing this good and still nearly got Djokovic in a 5-set thriller. Now, after waxing Andy Murray (again), the 33-year-old Federer appears somehow to be in his best form in quite a while, serving about as well as he ever has – only dropping serve once during this fortnight.

Djokovic has been quietly on song as well. Aside from a blip against Kevin Anderson at the start of the week 2, no one has taken a set from Novak and yesterday he looked very sharp in a routine win over Richard Gasquet.

Roger is playing better of the two this event. But Novak is the world No. 1 and is the defending champion. And he has to want to make up for his French loss to the Other Swiss.

So decisions, decisions.

Head-to-head, Federer leads 20-19 but Novak has won three of the last five, losing in the semifinals in Shanghai and again in the Dubai final.

In Slams, it’s 6-6, and the two have split their two Wimbledon finals. Novak’s been so good against so many players lately but Roger and his countryman seem to have his number.

Breaking down the strokes there’s also not much to choose.
Serve: Edge Federer
Net Game: Edge Federer
Forehand: Edge Federer
Backhand: Edge Djokovic
Return: Edge Djokovic
Overhead: Edge Federer
Crowd: Edge Federer
Speed: Edge Djokovic
Surface: Edge Federer
Confidence: Even
Intangibles: Even

So that’s a lot of checks for Roger. But this match really comes down to Federer’s serve against Novak’s return game. If Roger serves like he did against Murray – with power, placement and at a high clip – he’ll win, regardless of how well Novak returns.

But I think Federer served so well because he has a comfort with Murray. That same comfort doesn’t necessarily exist with Djokovic. So Roger will feel a little more pressed. Plus, off the ground in rallies Djokovic won’t play as passively as Murray did yesterday.

Still, I really feel like this is it for Federer. This is his last chance at another Slam and another Wimbledon (and I probably said this last year). Roger’s also proven to be a better big match player over time, especially at Wimbledon. While Djokovic, who’s just 8-8 in Slam finals, hasn’t been consistently as strong.

And I while I think Djokovic is a great player, I don’t think he’s a great grass player. This is Roger’s best surface and his favorite court. It’s where he won his first Slam and it will likely be the place where he wins his last.
The pick: Federer in five

With the way Federer is serving and their recent head-to-head (Federer’s won a set in nine of their last 10), I can’t see Novak winning in straight sets. That said, Roger could get hot, get on a run and take it in three.

But I think this will go back-and-forth, nip-and-tuck and will end up in a 4 or 5 set classic. At least I hope.

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45 Comments for Novak Djokovic v Roger Federer For The 2015 Wimbledon Title, Who’s The Pick?

Contemporary Says:

Oh Sean; you probably have jinxed Fed :)

sienna Says:

no jinx because it is not gonna be 5 sets.Djibouti hasnot got tennis skills to upset this Federer on the fast low bounce.

brando Says:

@Sean Randall: intelligent analysis, agree with most it and especially the part where the winner of the serve v return battle likely will win this match. But I cannot some of your breakdown and omissions of vital elements: CONFIDENCE= Federer. Roger to me seems to be oozing that at the moment whereas Novak’s body language suggests an absent mind. He seems passive to me. MENTAL STABILITY= Federer. Roger seemed so calm, dialed in the SF. Whereas Novak at times has seemed he’s checked out or is elsewhere mentally. STAMINA= Djokovic. IFy this goes long surely it’s advantage Novak. He’s a athlete in his prime, peak condition physically so surely a extended match must favour him. I’ll give a full take later but for now I do think those elements I touched upon factor in atleast, and quite correctly as I suggest at most.

sienna Says:


andres Says:

If this final reach five sets then the advantage goes to Djokovic, because he is younger and fitter. Last years final Federer put a valiant effort to take it to the last set but there was little doubt what the outcome would eventually be, he looked spent. This year he should try and wrap it in four sets at the most.

mike Says:

Fed will not win in 5 sets

Hippy Chick Says:

I agree with Mike,he will have to do it in 3 or 4,Novak can start off slowly and not play his best,but the longer the match goes the better he gets….

Jock-KatH Says:

Oh Sean – You say Djokovitch is just 8-8 in slams and indicated that he hasn’t been consistently strong. His ranking points are way above anyone else and he’s also no slouch on grass. He is 28 and next month Fed. will be 34.

Yes Fed. played lights out against Andy but Nole is fore-warned and question whether Roger can carry it off twice? Nole may not have shown his best YET at Wimb. 2015 but he will remember he’s No.1. and play accordingly.

madmax Says:

Federer in 4 sets…maybe even straights…

chris ford1 Says:

Two all-time great players. Both have the tools to win. About as dead even as a rivalry can be. Roger has improved and had a stunningly good match against Muzz, but Stan squashed him worse than he squashed Nole at the French Open…so Novak’s loss there won’t hurt his confidence against Fed.

Still, left out of the conversation is that Djokovic is a better player with even more tools than in 2014. His serve has become a potent weapon. He has significantly improved his net play and decisions on when to come at net and where to position himself. And the “Djokosmash” of some commonly accepted ill repute has changed to a player that puts all but a few away.

Odds are Fed will play very well, but not sustain that being in a total zone play to Nole’s match. He has looked sharper than Djokovic, but don’t forget that Nole can go into “God Mode” as well from time to time. And Fed does not have the confidence playing against Djokovic or Rafa that he does with Andy.
In fact, if Rafa showed up at the Final instead of Nole, Roger would gulp and start spraying balls everywhere…
It’s anyone’s contest.
The better guy that day will win.
Fed has looked sharper than Nole so far. But other than Anderson, Nole has cruised and hasn’t had to use his A game.

Jimmy Says:

Nole rose to the occasion against Rafa at the French and he will tomorrow against Roger at Wimbledon.

skeezer Says:

Only going to pick this way with ‘ifs”;

If Fed plays as good or better than he played against Murray, he wins, hands down, it will not matter what Novak’s performance is.

If Fed plays worst than he played against Murray, the pick is Novak.

It really is on Feds racket imho. Novak is going to be there, and he doesn’t have to be in “God” mode to beat Fed nowadays. Will/can Fed repeat his performance?

Sidney Says:

Gotta give kudos to the great Federer for quickly dispatching an in-form, felling-better-than-2013 Murray, and for reaching yet another GS final.

Andy played well, and no shame in losing to Roger on any surface but especially on grass.

Would Roger “let Novak win” Wimbledon again this year? Please? ๐Ÿ˜ข

sienna Says:

rose to the occasion against Rafa who is in his worst slumb since?? EVER.

Sidney Says:

Oh, and I think Novak has the edge in tomorrow’s final. ๐Ÿ˜€

Jimmy Says:

Murray took the whole clay coury season off in 2013 and practice on grass and prepared with Lendl, he was much stronger then.

Roger served great yesterday knowing that he didnt need to against Andy, tomorrow it is his only chance, a big difference.

Sidney Says:

Hope round 40 will be another classic!

Dan Martin Says:

I have a lot of content including my picks and my poll up at – This is what the draw was supposed to give us right? It should be fun.

Jimmy Says:

Roger made 69% of his first serves last year in the final and lost.

Gee Says:

Aw, but if the texas muppet didn’t retire, his loss would be the best loss that fred would enjoy. Now he can only weep.

Remember, fred was called old in 2007 too. The mileage was not too bad as he faced weak era chumps in 2003-2009.

did anyone brag about rafter, kuerten, hrbaty and greg rusedski’s wins over feddy? Only fed wins count.

I only care about roddick bowing down at novak’s feet.

tennisfan Says:

Nole will win in four sets, he is better than Federer now, Federer will be very nervous.

Jeff Says:

Nole has looked shaky at times but the guy knows how to grind people down.

Feds, needs everything to click, the serve forehand and backhand, tough ask but he’s just done it vs murray…….please get this in the bag

Eric W. Says:

I agree with Chris Ford. Roger gets much tighter with Nadal and Novak than he does with Murray — who has never troubled him in GS matches for the most part. Furthermore, Nole doesn’t fear Fed like he used to fear Nadal, so confidence favours the Serb. I think extrapolating Fed’s play against weak opposition and a SF opponent he dominates is foolish and short sighted. The answer is Nole in three or four, convincingly.

Gregoire Gentil Says:

If this final goes in 5, the first server in the decider will win. That’s what happened in the last 4 finals in 5 sets…

funches Says:

The last two times Federer and Djokovic played on really fast surfaces, Fed won.

It won’t be easy, but the match is in his hands.

Skeezer Says:

Don’t care how anyone wants to minimize this for both players, this match is huge. If Novak wins, will be his 3rd Wimby, surpassing Rafa in this era. Its a statement. For Fed, 18? Thr biggest statement of all.

Brando Says:

Too close to call, a real 50/50 match. Glad a fav isn’t involved and one can just chill and enjoy the entertainment.

Skeezer Says:

Btw no talk about the HBO special “7 days in Hell”?

ertorque Says:

If I may add another Stats to those given by Sean, Groundies: edge to Novak. Given that Novak’s serve is as potent as Roger’s, points not won by one-two combination by both players would then end up in groundies/rallies. In this discipine, I would put it to 60:40 in favour of Novak.
So me thinks Novak has a higher chance to win this even tho I will be rooting for Roger all the way.

mat4 Says:

Just passing by, and wish you all a great final.

And, of course, Novak to win. It will be difficult, but there’s nothing easy in life.

Leo Says:

Aiye… Jinxed? Not sure Randall has ever picked one of these correctly!

csl24 Says:

I believe it’s true that Federer feels more relaxed against Murray, therefor his confidence was higher going into that match. Everything that Murray does well, Djoker does a notch better. The fact is Federer has to red-line his game and give an other-worldly effort two matches in a row, just to take out Novak, and I believe Roger knows it. That is a lot of pressure. If Novak is steady, plays with confidence, doesn’t get caught up in the moment, puts the blinders on and grinds out every point. he will win this. Unfortunately, I am a federer fan and want him to win, but…anything can happen. #18

Michael Says:

Novak is the master of length, touch lines and insane angles while Roger is the ultimate Tennis maestro, a genius at work who makes even the toughest of shots with incredulous ease, grace and elegance and on his day on court is a treat and delight to watch for every Tennis fan irrespective of whom they idolize.

Now coming to this epic and a humdinger of a match that is awaiting all of us, I think looking at their H2H, grand slam clashes which have ended up even and the form each player is endowed with at the moment, it appears to be a dead heat. But, I would say right now Roger is a more confident player with the rythm and the easy way he dismantled Andy in straight sets is a big morale booster for him. Novak on the other hand has been a little scratchy extended even by Anderson to five sets which he escaped by a whisker due to his opponent double faults and even the straight set victories did not appear to be downright convincing enough that Novak right now is enjoying his best form.

That said, this is a new day and things might turn out to be different and quite unexpected. The key for the outcome of this match depends upon Roger’s first serve percentage and his blocking returns which kept him in good stead against Andy keeping the ball in play and then outwitting him from the back of the court. Roger also had the luxury of going after Andy’s weak second serve which might not be possible against Novak who has a good second serve. Novak on the other hand is one of the best returners of the game and also has enhanced the quality of his serve by leaps and bounds. If Roger is to win this match, I do not think he can accomplish it in five sets which would then be advantage Novak. To have any chance to win, he should finish it in straight or utmost four sets. So, naked aggression will be the order of the day and you can see Roger’s many daring advances to the net to unsettle Novak from his comfort zone. Another key to the match would be the weather conditions and the forecast is that there is possibility of a rain and if the roof is closed, Roger would definitely fancy that weather.

Stakes are pretty high for Novak. This is a match he can afford to lose right after his morale shattering loss to Wawarinka at Rolland Garros. He also is a player in his prime against a player who is well past his prime and is hugely expected to win. So the pressure is on Novak and it remains to be seen how he copes up with it and execute himself admirably. For Roger too, this must probably be his last good chance to win a Slam and make it 18 taking it to a safer zone unvulnerable to be surpassed. He also becomes the oldest player to win a Grand slam in the professional era and also would surpass Sampras and William Renshaw in title count at the Premier event. So, there is all to play for both the players.

For me, I do not want both to lose because they are two of my favourite players but I know that is logically impossible. Hence either winning the title will make me happy as well as sad simultaneously and I will not be in a position to express my feeling. All that I can say is “may the best player win” !!

Tennisfan Says:

I’m so excited for this final, but at the same time it’s nerve-wracking because I really want Roger to win but Novak is a major hurdle he might not be able to pass. Hopefully the match will be entertaining regardless of who ends up winning.

Margot Says:

If Fed serves like he did agaist Andy, he will win. It just liberates the rest of his game.
But it’s a big “if” and Nole’s ROS is better than Andy’s so we’ll see.
Surprised Sean’s gone for Fed in 5 tho. If it goes to 5, surely advantage Nole?

Michael Says:

True Margot !! If it goes to five, then Novak should win. Fed can win only in straight or utmost four sets. Novak is too strong mentally and physically to be conquered in five. But strange things have happened and we cannot dismiss that possibility too outright !!

sienna Says:

you guys cling to stats to make statements and projecties. but they are futile.
I said it for Murray match and will say it now.

if it goes to 5 Novak has best chance?

Maybe Djoker scrapes two sets but who is to say Fed doesnt raise his level to the insane semi level. I dont care what the age difference is.
Federer 5 set record looks not so good. But that has nothing to do with how he plays those 5 sets. stats like that are not compatible to make stands in matches to come.
Federer has needed fewer 5 sets to make difference in winning his matches and in losing his matches hรจ tends to be good enough to get to 5 sets. So two easy claims that has made his 5 sets record not as good as others.

You actually can see it as statement for greatness that his 5 set history is out of sync with the rest.

sienna Says:

I noticed that tennis is difficult game to grasp. There are people here stating false info like everything Murray does Djoker does it better. You couldnot be more mistaken with that statement.
There are lots of things Djoker does better but he is not a more versatile and addapting player then Murray. Murray matched Fed tenniswise Therefor the match was thrilling. Djoker has not got that leven. Djoker has other skills question is will those skills be enough to upset Fed. No questionmark from my taking…

calmdownplease Says:

If Roger is going to win Today it definitely won’t be in 5, that would be a Novak match at that point
There’s one other thing, rain is predicted throughout the day and we know what THAT means.
Still, Novak has beaten Roger before on under in the roof (but in a HC)
I’m feeling pretty neutral about who is going to win now (due to the weather/roof)
And I’ll be interested to see if Roger really can reproduce that `ultimate serve` again Today.

Nikola Says:

Last year Roger lost only one service game on the road to finals to Wawa. Novak brake him 4 times last year and should have finish the job in four sets. When Novak is playing Fed in finals or semis he is very, very motivated. If Fed serve like he did against Andy, then Novak in 5. If not Novak in 4, maybe even in straights.

Toilet Break Says:

I lovvvvvvvveeeeee Federer but this is Djokovic’s match. :(((

calmdownplease Says:

`Everything that Murray does well, Djoker does a notch better..`

I’m getting really tired of this kind of post

sienna Says:

wow BBC going full out with Murray mania… somebody tell producers their guy lost big time on friday.

faraz Says:

anyone who predicted Djoko is right…when you pick Djoko these’d be mostly right,,,

alex Says:

Sienna you really need to chill.
A little bit of reality check would do you good.

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