At the age of 34, Novak Djokovic won his sixth Wimbledon title by beating Italian Matteo Berrettini in four sets. Thanks to the third success in a row at the Championships, the world number 1 has hooked Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at 20 Slams.
A feat that seemed impossible until recently, but the Serbian’s dedication and tenacity made it possible for a chase that started from afar. If that’s not enough, the Belgrade veteran has all the credentials to increase his loot, while the same cannot be said for the Swiss and the Spaniard.
Roger will turn 40 in less than a month, as well as having just completed two operations on his right knee. Rafa is still competitive at the highest levels, but his worn out physique forces him to stop frequently to avoid injuries.
Should he triumph at the US Open, Nole would become the first player to make the ‘Calendar Grand Slam’ since Rod Laver. In a recent interview with ‘L’Equipe’, seven-time Slam champion Mats Wilander said he was very optimistic about Djokovic’s chances.
Wilander opens up on Novak Djokovic
“When you look at Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal, you say to yourself: ‘Ok why not another year or two’ and then after you see Novak Djokovic and you think: ‘Come on, 10 more years!” Mats Wilander wrote.
According to the Swede, the World No. 1 is a “smarter” player than he was before. “He (Novak Djokovic) is smarter than before,” continued Wilander. “When André Agassi started working with him in 2017, he confided in me all his surprise at seeing how little Novak leaned into the characteristics of his opponent, he placed himself in the machine world, stuck to his line, did not miss and played clean shots.”
Wilander pointed out that the 20-time Major champion could have easily defeated Berrettini in straight sets, given the way he started the match. “The Margin that Novak Djokovic has over the others is immense,” said the Swede.
“This final against Matteo Berrettini, he could have won it 6-3, 6-3, 6-3. How can you be so dominant on grass without having the serve of a Pete Sampras or a Roger Federer? I don’t think he got any better on one particular shot, but he added strings to his bow, especially in his approach to the net,” said Wilander.
“It’s not so much his on-the-fly technique that amazes me as his defense. He knows exactly where to stand and how to move.”