Wimbledon 2019, tactics in final: Body serves, backhand and percentage tennishttps://indianexpress.com/article/sports/tennis/wimbledon-2019-novak-djokovic-vs-roger-federer-tactics-in-final-body-serves-backhand-percentage-tennis-5829364/

Wimbledon 2019, tactics in final: Body serves, backhand and percentage tennis

The tight five-setter, which was the first time a match tie-breaker was needed to decide a singles match in Wimbledon history, there were a lot of tactics that combined to bring out the result.

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Novak Djokovic won his 16th Grand Slam title and fifth at SW19. (AP)

This was the third time Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic met in the final at the Wimbledon Championships. And it turned out to be the longest singles final in the tournament’s history. Eventually, it took four hours and 57 minutes to decide the winner, and a final shank into the stands from a Federer forehand to give Djokovic a 7-6(5), 1-6, 7-6(4), 4-6, 13-12(3) win. The title marked the fifth time Djokovic won the title at Wimbledon, and his 16th Grand Slam overall.

The tight five-setter, which was the first time a match tie-breaker was needed to decide a singles match in Wimbledon history, there were a lot of tactics that combined to bring out the result.

Djokovic’s body serves

This was easily the go-to serve for Djokovic especially when serving in a tight position. Throughout the match, the Serbian was struggling to find consistency in his first serve, and so opted to cramp Federer for space when putting in a second.

Federer’s curious targeting of Djokovic’s backhand

Djokovic’s backhand is widely known to be the steadiest shot in the men’s game. Curiously, Federer time and again opted to play to Djokovic’s double-hander. Often the pair would enter backhand-to-backhand rallies and Federer would at times run around to convert an inside-out forehand. The same happened at Championship point for Djokovic, as Federer tried to convert onto his forehand but instead mistimed his effort into the stands.

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Novak Djokovic won his fifth Wimbledon (Source: Twitter/@TennisChannel)

Match length

As the match went on, Federer seemed to tire a notch. Djokovic, a defensive baseliner and also regarded as one of the fittest in the game, chugged on. It was his tenacity and ability to chase down balls that cancelled out the two Championship points he faced when Federer was serving at 8-7 in the fifth set. Crucially, Federer had to make up more ground during the match – 5805.9 m – than the 5618.9 m Djokovic covered.

Saving break points in the first and second sets

Djokovic did not register a single break point opportunity till the fourth set. Federer instead had a chance each in the first and third set – both of which went into the tiebreaker. Should Djokovic have lost either of those points the eventual result might have been different.

Playing the percentages

At the end of the match, Djokovic had recorded 54 winners, compared to Federer’s 94. At the same time he conceded fewer unforced errors – 52 to 61. The Serbian’s played his shots with the purpose of mainly keeping the ball in play, not taking too many risks but eventually going for winners when the court opened – particularly during the three tie-breakers he won. Federer in turn went for the angles and was guilty of making unforced errors on crucial points.