By Josh Kramer
What better topic for my 600th post than the 2011 Wimbledon Championship match? It is hard to believe that this is post number 600 on “TheSportsKraze,” but it has truly been a pleasure talking sports with all of you each and every day. The support is very much appreciated.
When the new tennis rankings come out, the tennis world will have a new number one ranked player. We already knew that this was the case heading into today’s final at the All England Club. But despite a ranking change, without a victory, it would not truly feel like Novak Djokovic was the number one player in the world. Well today he proved that he is truly deserving of the top spot in tennis.
Grand Slam victory number two on the year, and of his career had to feel oh so sweet. Sure Novak was 47 and 1 on the year heading into today’s final. Sure he had already won in Australia, but that was a “Tourney down under that lacked thunder.” He also defeated Nadal in numerous finals this year heading into today’s match, including two on his native clay-court. But nobody considered Novak to be the top guy. Well now they should.
The mental toughness demonstrated by the Serbian star was truly unbelievable today. Heading into this morning, Novak knew that he was going to take over the number one ranking when the new rankings were released. Yet he definitely did not feel like the top player in the world despite an astounding 47 and 1 (now 48 and 1) record.
Novak came out at a blistering pace today stifling Rafa in sets one and two with relative ease. Then he laid an egg in set three and let Nadal wipe him off the court. In set four, he demonstrated poise and went up an early break, but relinquished his lead in letting Nadal break back. When Nadal broke back, I thought we were heading to a 5th set and familiar outcome. Rafa was going to gain a 3rd Wimbledon title. I was wrong. I completely underestimated the mental toughness of the new world number one.
Novak Djokovic has been really knocking on the door since 2007. Similar to Andy Murray though, he had never been able to take the next step into the Nadal/Federer ranks. Well now he has not only reached that level, but passed them in a way, at least for the time being. One point summed up Djokovic’s emergence and staying power in my eyes though. At 30-30 in the final game, of the match, Novak showed amazing confidence, and served and volleyed for the first time in the match. This led to an easy volley put-away and match point.
And you all know what happened next. On this day, Djokovic “Out-Nadaled Nadal” according to Patrick McEnroe. There is no better way to put it in my eyes. Novak Djokovic is your 2011 Wimbledon Champion and the number one ranked player in the world.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.