Wimbledon final: Novak Djokovic rues his missed chances

Wimbledon, England –

Are you sorry? Novak Djokovic has two.

That tiebreak came very early in Sunday’s Wimbledon final, when the 36-year-old Serb took a two-set-0 lead over 20-year-old opponent Carlos Alcaraz and was just one point away. there were.

Then there was a missed volley at break point early in the fifth set, and the momentum on that stage was that of the seven-time Wimbledon champion.

After losing 1-6, 7-6 (6), 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 in an energetic and very entertaining championship match on Center Court, Djokovic said: “I regret it a little. there is,” he said. “We had our chances. I think we could have ended the second set tiebreak better, but the pass shot that he fought and showed incredible defensive skills to break in the fifth set. It is commendable that you have shown me.”

“Today he definitely deserved a winner.”

Djokovic has been a winner many times in the past. He earned his seventh here at the All England Club and is just one win away from tying Roger Federer for a men’s record eight Grand Slam titles on grass courts. The 23 major tournaments in total are tied with Serena Williams for the most times in the open era that began in 1968.

Back in 2019, for example, Djokovic was the defending champion while Federer was chasing his ninth Wimbledon title. Federer had two match points in the fifth set, but Djokovic saved two of them to take the tiebreaker at 12-12 and hold off to win his fifth title.

“I’ve won some epic finals where I almost lost,” Djokovic said in an on-court interview during the trophy presentation. “Maybe it’s kind of a fair deal for me to lose a match like this here.”

After surviving a windy first set, the pair traded service breaks early in the second set before the final tiebreaker.

Djokovic took a 3-0 lead and has won his last 15 tiebreakers at Grand Slam tournaments, a good result for a four-time defending champion. However, Alcaraz tied the game with three straight points, including a 169 mph ace. Then, with a set point and an Alcaraz serve to make it 6-5, Djokovic slammed a backhand into the net. And one more thing.

“I was kind of disappointed with the backhand, to be honest,” Djokovic said. “Set point, I missed my backhand. Sure, he played a pretty long backhand in the court and bounced a little badly, but he shouldn’t have missed that shot.

“Then at 6-all, he hit the net again with a backhand from the middle of the court. Only two very bad backhands. That’s it. The game went to his side. It was reversed.”

Djokovic hasn’t missed many of those shots in recent years. In fact, the last time he lost at Wimbledon was back in 2017, when he retired with injury in the second set of the quarterfinals. His last loss on Center Court was in the 2013 final against Andy Murray.

“I made history by beating Novak at his best on this stage,” Alcaraz said. .

Another point Djokovic mentioned? Another regret? That mistake was even more surprising—especially from a player who had a career of making shot after shot and waiting for his opponent to screw up.

Alcaraz was serving in the second game of the final set, and Djokovic turned in a seemingly easy volley to take a 2-0 lead, but a lead like this he doesn’t give up very often. But instead of going over the net, his forehand flew over the net, allowing Alcaraz to make a comeback. It was in the very next game that the Spaniard broke through, giving him the edge he needed to win his second major title after winning last year’s US Open.

“I managed to bounce back in the middle of the fourth set and get my momentum back,” Djokovic said. “I felt the momentum shift to my side. That was my chance. That was my chance. That break point, I think I played a really good point. It’s like setting up a drive volley. was”

“It was very, very windy today. Because of the wind, I couldn’t hit a smash and had to hit a drive volley that was a bit backwards. He ran perfectly towards goal. I saw you there.”

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