Speaking about the GOAT race between Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, a former multiple Major winner Jim Courier reminded that Roger Federer could have stood on 21 had he won Wimbledon 2019 final against Novak Djokovic.
Roger wasted two match points in what could be his last chance to embrace Major glory, although Courier believes he can fight for one more title in the next year or two. In the ultimate clash of tennis titans, Roger Federer had everything in his hands against Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon final last July, only to walk off the court empty-handed!
The Swiss won 14 points more than the Serb, scored four breaks more than Novak, had 40 winners more, two match points and two break points at 11-11 in the decider up for grabs, squandering all that and allowing Djokovic to steal the crown in the longest Wimbledon final ever.
The Serb gave his best to stay in contention and fight against the rival who had the upper hand in the more significant part of the encounter. Novak repelled those two match points on the return at 7-8 in the fifth set and produced the steel nerves in all three tie breaks to grab the 16th Major title.
The overall numbers were on Federer's side, but Djokovic did what he had to in the pivotal moments, carried by the incredible inner strength that helped him overpower both Roger and the crowd en route to the fifth Wimbledon crown.
Federer wasted a break chance in the opening set and lost it 7-5 in the tie break. The Swiss quickly left this setback behind him, storming over Djokovic to grab the second set 6-1, standing as the better player in the third as well but wasting a break chance that installed the second tie break.
Novak clinched it 7-4 after six errors from Roger, four in an unforced area from the backhand wing that cost him a slow start and more efficient finish.
In 2019, Novak Djokovic saved two match points vs. Roger Federer at Wimbledon.
After all kinds of drama in the deciding set and survived games 16 and 23, Novak was the favorite in the crucial tie break that he claimed 7-3 to wrap up the title and one of his most extraordinary victories ever.
Overall, Federer hit the last ball in 29 out of 33 points in all three tie breaks combined, leaving Novak on three winners and one forced error! On the other hand, the eight-time champion counted to six service winners and five from the court, spoiling all that with massive 13 unforced mistakes and five that Novak forced.
Just like in the rest of the encounter, tie breaks were on Roger's racquet, but he failed to deliver his best tennis when it mattered the most, spraying 17 errors more than the steady Serb and finding himself on the losing side.
"Novak will win more Majors than Federer and Nadal in the upcoming years. Nadal, I think, will finish second in that competition. Federer, maybe he has another Major in him. He was so close at Wimbledon last year; let's not forget that Novak stole that one.
It could have easily been Federer at 21 and Djokovic at 16. Nadal has probably got two or three more in him, while Djokovic is somewhere in the range of five or six, all assuming health," Jim Courier said.