Novak Djokovic claimed the 20th Major title at Wimbledon to join Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer at the top of the standings. The Serbian has been the player to beat since 2011, entering that season with a Major title and doing his best to match his closest rival, with a great opportunity to surpass them as early as September.
Fourteen years ago, Novak became the third strongest player on the Tour behind Federer and Nadal, reaching all four Major semi-finals as the youngest player in the Open Era and entering his first Major final in New York. In Rome, the Serbian lost to Rafael Nadal, and spoke of the improvements he has to make to challenge rivals from above.
Novak headed to Rome with 18 wins in the last 20 meetings and beat Robin Soderling and Marcos Baghdatis. In the quarterfinals, he faced a definitive challenge from defending champion Rafael Nadal, who knocked him down 6-2, 6-3 after one hour and 41 minutes of a grueling battle.
It was Rafa's third win over Novak in four games, as he lost just 13 points in eight service games and defended himself from the only break point offered to Djokovic. Novak served 72%, but that did nothing for him against the fiercest possible opponent on clay, losing half of the points in his games and suffering four breaks of the 12 opportunities Nadal created.
The top-ranked player took a break in the first game after Djokovic's forehand error and held at 15 to consolidate the lead. Novak saved four break opportunities in the third game and brought him home with a big winner to add his name on the scoreboard.
Federer returned to the court at the Qatar Open 2021
Former US Open finalist Greg Rusedski recently gave his thoughts on Roger Federer's knee setback that forced him to withdraw from the Tokyo Olympics this month. In that context, Greg Rusedski suggested Federer might not be motivated to play if he knew his chances of winning were non-existent.
“So the question is, will he be happy not being able to win Majors again, and that is the big question only Roger can answer," Rusedski said on the Tennis Channel. "Knowing Roger from quite a young age, around 16-17 years of age, I don’t think he will be satisfied just showing up without really believing he can win”.
Fans were eagerly waiting for the return of Federer in the 2021 season. Even though they are quite happy with his performances, they certainly have more expectations from the Swiss Maestro. The Wimbledon Championships 2021 was most probably the best shot for Federer to win his 21st Grand Slam.
He gave some exceptional performances there and managed to reach the quarters. However, Hubert Hurkacz thrashed him in straight sets there and ended his campaign.