July 3rd, 2011
08:29 PM ET

Brilliant Novak a deserved Wimbledon winner

Novak Djokovic fully deserves his status as new Wimbledon champion and world number one.
Novak Djokovic fully deserves his status as new Wimbledon champion and world number one.

We have a new men’s world number one and Wimbledon champion in Novak Djokovic.

His semifinal Wimbledon win over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was simply sensational and my favorite match of the fortnight. There was a highlight in almost every game with both men leaping about all over the place and then laughing and grinning afterwards. You simply couldn’t ask for more.

There’s no doubt that the likeable Serb deserves the number one title. He’s been the outstanding player of 2011 and only defeat to Roger Federer in the semi-finals of the French Open has prevented him from going unbeaten throughout - a run which includes five straight final wins over former top-ranked Rafa Nadal.

Novak did to Rafa in the Wimbledon final, what Rafa does to Roger Federer, and now there’s a new man in town, as Djokovic has won two of this year’s three majors.

He said the Davis Cup victory at the end of 2010 gave him belief and his soaring confidence is bad news for the rest of the field!

Modest Rafa admitted before the French Open, which he won, again, that it was only a matter of time until Novak took over at the top and he was right.

He also admitted after losing on centre court that Novak is in his head. What an admission! Most professional athletes would never admit such a thing, but Rafa has always been one to speak the truth and getting that out in the open will likely help him as he can now work on correcting it, rather than keeping it bottled up inside.

Nadal also believes that Federer will win another major and said that Andy Murray will get on the board, after dumping the Scot out of the semi-finals for the second straight year.

Rafa amazes me each and every time he steps out on court. He was taking pain-killers for his foot injury but you would never know it. His body is probably aching all over, but he never shows it.

He is never beaten until the final point and when he is beaten, he accepts it fair and square and moves on. There’s no moping or whining and certainly no trying to take anything away from the man that beat him.

The women’s tournament was really exciting too and in 21-year-old Petra Kvitova we have a multiple major champion of the future, of that I’m sure. She is so powerful off both sides and can play on all surfaces.

2004 champion Maria Sharapova is most certainly back in the running too and that’s great news for the WTA. From what I read, she is the highest-paid female athlete in the world!

Her good looks play a big part in that, but to her, what she looks like takes a back seat to how she plays.

Coaching legend Nick Bollettieri told me recently that Maria was so driven and focused when training at his Academy, that if an opponent fell down she would walk over them, rather than around them! The message? Don’t mess with Maria!

Ironically, the Russian was the oldest of the four semi-finalists at the All England Club, while at this year’s French Open, she was the youngest! It just goes to show how open the women’s game is right now.

The two losing semi-finalists, wild-card Sabine Lisicki and 4th seed Victoria Azarenka, have great futures ahead of them. I think Azarenka will be the next first-time major winner and Lisicki has the game to challenge again.

She has made a remarkable comeback from injury, telling Pedro Pinto at Wimbledon that this time last year she was on crutches. That huge serve and happy-go-lucky spirit will take her places!

Great rivalries make for interesting viewing, and the WTA hasn’t had one for a while, but what it does have a cast of characters in contention.

Should Kim Clijsters be healthy for the US Open, and the Williams sisters more match-ready, then we will be in for a real treat!

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Filed under:  Tennis
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. suzu

    New man in the town!!!! The world has to change...

    July 3, 2011 at 11:31 pm | Reply
  2. Getthat Outamaear

    The final really was a treat to watch. It's amazing to see how many people Novak has in his winning team (his nutritionist etc), and what others may have to do from now on to become contenders.

    July 3, 2011 at 11:39 pm | Reply
  3. Sachiko

    Djokovic shut up all analysts/players/fans who still cling to Federer-Nadal affair and proved with his execution, not words, THE FACT: no matter what has happened in the past, Novak Djokovic is the greatest tennis player in the world right now!

    July 4, 2011 at 12:18 am | Reply
  4. rough

    Pathetic journalism – blatant nadal worship. Comments like "Rafa amazes me each and every time he steps out on court. He was taking pain-killers for his foot injury but you would never know it. His body is probably aching all over, but he never shows it. Probably??? Gimme a break.

    He is never beaten until the final point and when he is beaten, he accepts it fair and square and moves on. There’s no moping or whining and certainly no trying to take anything away from the man that beat him." sound pretty pathetic.
    everyone plays tennis and the bodyaches and pain is common for everyone, not only for rafa.
    the very fact that he mentions creaky knees and painful foot shows he is big drama queen and does it only with the intention of playing mind games.
    notorious for his fake injury time outs, he takes time outs when the opponent is on set point and after ten minutes of mind games he runs around like a rabbit.
    doesnt tsonga have body aches?? how many times has roger complained of painful knees and pain in the foot?
    does djokovic go around telling the world he is taking painkillers and that he is undergoing an MRI for his knee or hip?
    is rafa special to be treated like this by a spineless world media?
    rafa is a cheat and time will remember him as one.
    glad the cheat was solidly beaten.

    July 4, 2011 at 5:51 am | Reply
  5. Nordin Suboh

    I follow tennis quiet a while.
    There was a comment some years ago by one of the top man tennis player (I can't remember the name) that women tennis has no standard. Is it true that remark still stand based on the last Wimbledon final ?
    What is your assestment on the men final apparently won by the Serb ? Are they any better than 70's or 80's champio.
    *Note:
    My tennis era during John McEnrow, Christ Evert ...
    Thanks
    Nordin Suboh
    in UK 1972-1976

    July 4, 2011 at 7:03 am | Reply
  6. Marko

    Is this an article about the new number 1 and Wimbledon champion or about how Rafa is a nice guy (which he is)? The heading does not match with the text ...

    July 4, 2011 at 10:46 am | Reply
  7. ashiok

    loude

    July 4, 2011 at 11:08 am | Reply
  8. SS

    I would like to see Mats Wilander comment on this facts.

    Congrats Djokovic, i wish you more Grand Slams and more victories in this seasson and future.

    July 4, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Reply
  9. andrew

    DJokovic completely decimated Nadal in 5 straight finals, a far more overwhelming defeat than Nadal ever inflicted on Federer.

    July 4, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Reply
  10. Brian Wicklin

    I was amazed at the time taken for playing tennis has not changed. The longest game was 87 seconds duration in the second game of the second set. Compared to 20 years ago the average time of play per set has not changed. It is around 5-6 minutes and the rest of the time is for moving aorund the court. Novak won all games that lasted 30 seconds or more.
    However, the game and style of play appears to be different and the speed of delivery slower. The question remains to be answered "is tennis an attractive sport to watch for spectators?

    July 4, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Reply
  11. ederjony

    He hugely deserves the trophy. His last performances had already shown him as a future potential number one.

    July 4, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Reply
  12. Michael Burge

    Thankfully Nadal didn't blame his loss on a sore toe (see David Haye) even though he had a fracture in his ankle! What an athlete and ambassador for the sport.

    July 4, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Reply
  13. tim

    Djokovic has remained unstoppable this year. congrats man

    July 4, 2011 at 6:55 pm | Reply
  14. streetspirit

    Another women talking about Nadal, out from sky. Candy but you are way to subjective. Do you know why Novak punches his chests and celebrates loud after every single point? Do you know what is nutritionist doing in his box and why does he need such large support from his box? Novak has autoimmune celiac disease (Did he complained,did you wrote about that?). Novak's motherland was bombed by the NATO when he was child (Did you wrote about how hard must that be, training occasionally interrupted by airstrike sirens). You just saw one cute muscled guy and another one not so cute (or it isn't politically correct to write about some cool Serbian guy).Novak's parents supported his child dreams (very expensive in Serbia) and gave it all to follow him. Well you missed one hell of a story, just find the video which was recorded when he was seven years old where he said "When i grow up i want to be a champion". At the end our story should have strong message about our dreams, but i'm not that good...

    July 4, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Reply
  15. Beverley Jones

    I think that Djokovic has become Nadals Nemesis as Nadal has become Federers. Djokovic has beaten Nadal 5 times this year and has proved that he has become an all court player.
    His Wimbledon victory is fantastic.

    July 4, 2011 at 7:10 pm | Reply
  16. Yugoslav Girl

    Streetspirit do you have something against women?
    Also, your English is very poor, a lot of what you've written does not make sense. Please correct what you wrote and make an effort to learn the language.

    July 4, 2011 at 10:58 pm | Reply
  17. z.doncic

    President Tito was to Yugoslavia what Novak is to Serbia.....we love you Nole.

    July 4, 2011 at 11:06 pm | Reply
  18. ana

    - three sides to MAGIC:
    we love Federer – he epitomises an ideal – difficult to put into words,
    natural talent elegantly carved by hard work

    we love Nadal – material guy from the neighbourhood, who demonstrates that hard work and dedication push the boundaries when joined with strong willpower and endurance

    and then came Djokovic – who had to make the most out of all physical and mental prerequisites of the game in order to make it up to the standards set by the two....and win big
    his game is great because it is extremely mental and resembles a game of chess, but at the same time its high standards allow sporadic spontaneity at its best....

    What kind magic will the next player bring about to tennis....
    Watching the game is a never ending lesson about possibilities...

    July 4, 2011 at 11:48 pm | Reply
  19. deron

    Congrats to Novak; he, Rafa, and Roger have dominated tennis for the last six years. I am fairly new to tennis; I've only been watching for six years now. Has anyone ever seen such sustained dominance by three players? BTW, I feel for Andy Murray; it doesn't seem like he'll ever crack the top three.

    July 5, 2011 at 12:01 am | Reply
  20. Trickovic

    I am proud that I am a Serb. Thank you Novak!!!

    July 5, 2011 at 1:39 am | Reply
  21. Baki

    Novak Djokovic, 1 superb Serb!

    July 5, 2011 at 7:54 am | Reply
  22. Margaret Rayner

    What a fantastic Wimbledon. I was lucky enough to be there the first and second weeks, and saw some brilliant tennis. I think the final results were really great for the game and made it a memorable two weekis. Until Murray can get his head into gear and stop throwing tantrums on the court he doesn't stand a chance.

    July 5, 2011 at 8:04 am | Reply
  23. Mitch

    GAWD - even the title of this article Novak "deserved" title is irritating! Of course he deserved it - he won it! All this Nadal-worship is just too much - like the guy should be handed a trophy just for showing up? And whenever he loses, as he has again and again and again and again and again to Djokovic this year, he has some mysterious ailment. This time he and his father and uncle all claim a fracture in his foot, yet the hospital and MRI say "nothing wrong." There's plenty wrong, but it's not Nadal's foot.

    Meanwhile, Djokovic is playing for Serbia in Davis Cup while Nadal goes home to nurse his latest ailment. Then we've got 7-8 weeks of tournaments before the US Open. Should be a good one.

    July 5, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Reply
  24. HHH

    Now if we can only get his entourage to act with a bit more class and less thuggery. Did they have to all start putting on the serbian t-shirts. Tacky, tacky!!!

    July 5, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Reply
  25. milan

    Novak was greeted by over of 100.000 people in the centre of Belgrade last night. He deserved the title and we in Serbia know that Nole will not stop and satisfy himself with only this title in Wimbeldone.He wants to win the Davis title again for Serbia and the gold medal at the Olympic games next summer.Nobody in the world can say anything against his win in Wimbeldon, he is NO1E and he plans to stay there very long.

    July 5, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Reply
  26. davis

    This article tells us nothing. A couple of stats and a handful of platitudes. Where's the analysis of Novak's achievement? How and why exactly did he "get in Nadal's head"? How can Rafa shake-off those mental yips? Why is he always injured? Was this the death knell of Federer's slam-winning career? Why does Murray continually choke? Where's the insight into Kvitova's success? She'd barely won a match on grass before last year's Wimbledon and now she's been a semi-finallist and a champion, what changed? Why is she a potential multi slam winner? What was behind the Sharapova revival and why, as the biggest name in the final four, wasn't she able to go the distance in the end? Can this be her springboard for the US Open or did she peak? Have we seen the end of the Serena/Venus/Kim domination or did other players just cash in on their absence or incapacity due to lack of match fitness? This year's Wimbledon raised a lot of interesting questions, none of which were addressed or answered by this lame and sycophantic summary. Must do better.

    July 6, 2011 at 7:26 pm | Reply
  27. jorgen friis

    enough said. yesterday's news is old news. lets move on please

    July 8, 2011 at 2:38 am | Reply
  28. EricAndrews

    What an excellent reviewof this years Wimbledon.
    As always it is a great two weeks.2 new winnersand so much talent . I thought Andy Murray played so well throughout and I was sad to see Judy looking so glum at the end-he lost out to a better player...for now!

    July 8, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Reply
  29. Dr. Cajetan Coelho

    Congratulations to champion Novak Djokovic.

    July 29, 2011 at 9:01 am | Reply

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