Novak Djokovic scripted history on the Centre Court of the All-England Club today at the Wimbledon 2021 as he won his 6th Wimbledon title and his 20th Grand Slam title. The win ties him with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on 20 Grand Slams each, justifying why the trio is called as the Big-3 of Tennis.
Novak was up against first time Grand Slam finalist, 25-year old Matteo Berrettini who did push the Serbian on the backfoot as he won the opening set. Djokovic was not much taken aback by his defeat in the 1st set and came back strong in the next 3-sets to win the Grand Slam 6-7(7), 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 to lift the title for the 3rd year in running.
Novak talks about his match against Matteo Berrettini
Novak hit only 5 aces whereas Matteo managed 16 aces but it was not enough as Novak was the better one on service and in returns. While Matteo hit 57 winners to Novak’s 31, but Novak had only 21 unforced errors to Matteo’s 48. Djokovic eventually won the finals with 145 points as Matteo could manage only 131.
“I have felt more nervous than usual. I felt relief after the first set. Not good that I lost it, but I just wanted to get it over with and to start swinging through the ball. I knew his service is the biggest obstacle, but once I got into the rallies, I felt like I would have the upper hand,” said Djokovic about his nerves in the first set.
“I just wanted to get over with the first set so I could just swing through the ball and play well and that started to happen in the 2nd set. 4-0 up quickly and I knew at the moment, the momentum shifted. Other than that I felt I was in control of the match from the start of the 2nd set,” added Djokovic about his match and where he felt the match turning.
Novak talks about the GOAT debate
With Djokovic also winning the 20th Grand Slam title, the GOAT debate is again flaming as Novak is now tied with Federer and Nadal on 20 Grand Slams each and sharing 60 slams between the Big-3 of Tennis.
“I probably started believing 2-3 years ago (that he can catch up), I started to realize that I can reach weeks at no. 1 record and Slams. I feel that I am the best, that’s why I talk confidently about winning Slams etc. The GOAT debate is not up to me, and tennis has changed so much over different eras.
“Whether I’m the greatest of all time or not, I leave that debate to other people. I said before that it’s very difficult to compare the eras of tennis. We have different racquets, technology, balls, courts,” said Djokovic maintaining respect for Roger and Rafa as the trio continue to do so for each other as Federer also tweeted congratulating Djokovic.
Novak Djokovic talks about the improvement in him and his plans for the Olympics 2020
Among the Big-3 of tennis, Roger is credited for his elegance, Rafa is credited for his stamina and power while Djokovic is appreciated for his mental fortitude and his ability to stay strong when in clutch moments that often decide the course of the match.
“From 15 years ago to today, I’ve improved in every aspect of the game, and the mental side as well. The highlight of my improvement is the ability to cope with pressure. In the last couple of years as I have said, Age is just a number, I don’t feel old. I feel that I am as complete a player as I have ever been,” said Djokovic.
Djokovic however dropped a bombshell as he said he is not completely convinced to play at the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“It was disappointing to hear. I can’t even have a stringer, a lot of restrictions. I will have to think about it. The plan was always to go, but now it’s 50-50 from what I heard in the last couple of days,” said Novak.
It will be interesting to see what decision Novak makes as he stands on the brink of creating another golden moment in his career if he can add the Olympic Gold to his ever-increasing trophy cabinet and achieve the Career Golden Slam.