Two years ago, Roger Federer suffered one of the toughest defeats of his glorious career against Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon, wasting two match points in a 7-6, 1-6, 7-6, 4-6, 13-12 defeat. after epic four hours and 57 minutes.
Federer earned 14 more points than Djokovic in that thrilling title match at the All England Club, scoring four more breaks than the defending champion and wasting two match points on his serve at 8-7 in the deciding set.
Novak produced nerves of steel in all three tiebreakers to clinch Major's 16th title, without creating a break opportunity in the first two hours and 15 minutes, and still building the lead! Federer led 5-3 before dropping four points in a row to hand it over to Djokovic, who scored no winners or errors on those ten points in the first-set tiebreaker.
The Swiss quickly put this setback behind him, assaulting the Serbian to take the second set 6-1 and ranking as the best player in the third, but wasting a break opportunity that set up the second tie-break. Novak secured it 7-4 after six errors by Roger, four in an unforced area from the backhand that cost him a slow start and a better finish.
After all kinds of drama in the deciding set and surviving Games 16 and 23, Novak was the favorite in the crucial tie break that claimed 7-3 to close the title and one of his most extraordinary victories.
Federer needs a coffee to quell his early morning blues
Roger Federer played his first match on grass in nearly two years when he took on Ilya Ivashka in the first round of the 2021 Noventi Open on Monday.
Federer was rusty at the start and also showed some signs of nerves, but eventually came through 7-6 (4), 7-5. "I had a tough moment in the first set when he had a break point so that was crucial to get out of those and then I played a really good tiebreaker which I was happy about," Federer said.
"I think as the match went on I started to create more opportunities and started to calm my nerves a little bit; overall I think I served very well. Clearly it can always be a little better but I'm happy and excited that I was able to get through the first one," Roger Federer continued.
"The back is good, I feel fine from that standpoint. It's just really the legs and the match fitness that I'm looking forward to and getting through breakers. The only thing I can feel at any one time is age," Federer said.
"I'm a bit stiff for the first five minutes (after waking up) until my first coffee. But I think everyone has that."