Refusing to give up until the last point, Novak Djokovic has played some of the most notable matches on the ATP Tour in the last 15 years. With his incredible fighting spirit and iron will to push through all opponents by at least one more point, Novak has recovered from the brink of defeat on numerous occasions and has taken victories in the most important tennis stadiums and the most opponents.
vigorous. When asked about the most exhausting and physically exhausting match he has ever played, Novak didn't have to think too much. The Serbian chose that memorable 2012 Australian Open final against Rafael Nadal that lasted five hours and 53 minutes, and it ranked as the longest Major final ever!
Djokovic prevailed against Andy Murray 7-5 in the decider in the semifinals, saving energy for another epic clash against no. 2 and overcoming the fifth set deficit to defend the title claimed a year ago. After one of the most exciting encounters in history, Novak prevailed 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7, 7-5 in just under six hours, losing 4-2, 30-15 in the final set when Nadal missed a routine backhand that likely cost him the second Australian Open title.
Djokovic created 20 break opportunities, converting seven and giving up serve four times. The Serbian had more winners and forced more errors on the Spaniard, forging victory in the middle distance exchanges as nothing could separate them in the fastest and longest rallies.
Wilander speaks about Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal's foot problem flared up during his Roland Garros semi-final loss to Novak Djokovic earlier this year. The Spaniard subsequently withdrew from Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics.
Weighing in on the news of Nadal's latest setback, seven-time Grand Slam champion Mats Wilander said he was "sad and very worried" about the Spaniard's condition. According to Wilander, Nadal may never be able to win big tournaments again.
"We are getting used to expecting him to not be able to play. He is always trying and is always ready," he said. He is trying but he just can't do it and I guess with every year it seems like he's playing less and less.
He is getting older and his body is taking a beating. It might be the end of winning Grand Slam tournaments, but with Rafa and Roland Garros and the love affair he has over there, you can never say it is the end of that relationship until the day he has hung his rackets on the wall," Wilander said.