Novak Djokovic vs Kevin Anderson
Djokovic’s route to the final: 1r: T Sandgren 6-3 6-1 6-2, 2r: H Zeballos 6-1 6-2 6-3, 3r: K Edmund 4-6 6-3 6-2 6-4, 4r: K Khachanov 6-4 6-2 6-2, QF: K Nishikori 6-3 3-6 6-2 6-2, SF: R Nadal 6-4 3-6 7-6 3-6 10-8
Anderson’s route to the final: 1r: N Gombos 6-3 6-4 6-4 , 2r: A Seppi 6-3 6-7 6-3 6-4, 3r: P Kohlschreiber 6-3 7-5 7-5, 4r: G Monfils 7-6 7-6 5-7 7-6, QF: R Federer 2-6 6-7 7-5 6-4 13-11, SF: J Isner 7-6 6-7 6-7 6-4 26-24
Novak Djokovic is back in the Wimbledon final for the first time since 2015, hoping to pick up a fourth title at SW19. The Serb will play Kevin Anderson, who is in his second slam final in four attempts having made the US Open final late last year. Like that match, he will be a huge underdog heading onto Centre Court on Sunday afternoon.
Anderson backed up his stunning win over Roger Federer with an even more extraordinary semi finals victory. He beat John Isner in the the second longest match at Wimbledon ever – eventually closing out the match after 6 hours and 36 minutes. He hit a wild 25 aces in 25 service games and did not face one single break point in the many attempts he served to stay in the match. He may well have got things done much quicker had he managed to serve out the third set at 5-3 or on serve doing the tiebreak but he fought well to get the win. He showed great nerve in 26-24 final set although this may finally lead to action being taken to avoid such lengthy matches. “You’re really in a war of attrition out there,” said Anderson. “It’s way beyond a normal tennis match or tactics. I mean, it’s just who’s going to outlast each other… I’ve put myself into the finals of Wimbledon, which is half of a dream come true. ”
Not to be outdone, Djokovic and Nadal put on one of the great Wimbledon matches across two days – eventually being won 10-8 by Djokovic in the deciding set. The former No.1 looks to be back to his best and delivered when it mattered throughout – hitting some huge serves on break point. “I’m really, really pleased. I was very emotional after the match, as well, because it’s been a long 15 months for me, trying to overcome different obstacles, to be where I am at the moment is quite satisfying.” Djokovic said. There had been signs over the past two months that he was returning to the level that saw him break up the Federer-Nadal dominance but this win and the manner of it are going to mean a lot.
Djokovic was modest in his verdict for tomorrows match. “I don’t know if I’ll be the clear favourite in that one. I think we’re quite even, he played the US Open final last year. He’s definitely playing the tennis of his life. He’s coming off from two epic marathon five-set wins. I don’t think he has much to lose really tomorrow. He’s going to come out with big serves and big tennis. Hopefully I’ll be able to weather the storm.” he said. Since losing their first meeting, Djokovic has gone on a five match winning streak against the South African. With both coming off such lengthy matches, Djokovic may not gain such an advantage fitness-wise against Anderson. Despite his opinion, Novak does have to remain the heavy favourite for the win which will see him at 13 grand slam titles, 4 behind Rafael Nadal.
Prediction – Novak Djokovic in 4 sets