We are talking about 5th set at 12-12. Both are mentally exhausted. Fed at 40-15. Trophy is almost guaranteed. His mind starts to waver. The key thing is Djokovic probably also thought this is it. He RELAXED. He had nothing to lose. It just went his way. If Fed crumbled, that would be after deuce.MP #1:
Federer kicks a second serve out wide, which Djokovic manages to return straight at him. He then stabs a FH out wide. I think this was just a matter of luck with Djok’s return going so close to him. And even if the next shot went to plan and hit the line, it was anyone’s point if that ball dropped in as Djok was already covering that side. Can’t complain too much with that one.
The serve was pretty lousy. Did nerves play a part? It was a couple of feet inside the T and a very comfortable return for Djokovic on his FH side. Federer goes straight in for the kill on his second shot and sends a forehand up the line and approaches the net but again he goes nowhere near the line with the shot and leaves Djokovic in a comfortable position with options for the passing shot from the baseline.
I think the serve selection was wrong here. Djokovic was in front of the royal box where the sun was still only covering 2 thirds where the serve out wide would have put him into the shade and on his backhand. We’ll never know but there’s every chance that ball doesn’t come back if he goes out wide. Djokovic was standing in the sun and there’s every chance that getting him in and out of the sun would have upset his shot making there - trying to use every advantage you have.
And finally on that match point. Maybe I’m on my own with this one? With Djokovic’s passing shot to save the 2nd MP, does it look like Federer thinks it’s going wide? Could he have got to that? I really think there’s a chance if he reacts a half a second quicker that he cushions that in for a relatively easy winner. Maybe not even if he’s quicker, but if he just decides to go for it at all. Maybe I’m being too critical there.
What should Fed have done differently on either of these serves in your opinion?
Also something amusing I noticed:
The point and shot that saved the second match point for Djokovic? Almost the exact same point reversed (the last 2 shots anyway) that won the break for Federer in the previous game.
And this is not the first time he's done it to Fed. Remember USOpen? 40-15 match point. That's twice against the same player.