Djokovic Uses Nadal Method to Defeat Federer at Wimbledon

WIMBLEDON, England  6 July 2014

Novak Djokovic PHOTO: By CarineO6

Novak Djokovic
PHOTO: By CarineO6

Neither my status as an amateur tennis player nor my record as a performing arts critic would qualify me to comment on the truly remarkable Men’s Final of the Championships Wimbledon, played here earlier today at the All England Club. But I cannot resist the temptation, after observing the elegance of the physical and mental determination displayed by two giants of the sport, Novak Djokovic, and 7-time winner of this very tournament, Roger Federer. Their performance was one for the ages.

Roger Federer PHOTO: By CarineO6

Roger Federer
PHOTO: By CarineO6

Mr. Djokovic would ultimately triumph over Federer with a 6-7(7), 6-4, 7-6(4), 5-7, 6-4 victory, but the mere scorecard in no way represents the drama that unfolded. The early play gave Djokovic a lead of two sets to one following Federer’s impressive tiebreaker win of the opening set. While those first three sets saw but one service break, the monumental battle of the fourth had all the crowd-pleasing excitement fans could hope for. Apparently losing the set at 5-2, Federer came roaring back to win five games straight and send the match to a deciding fifth set. His brilliant play included surviving one Championship Point by successfully challenging a service ace that had been called out.

But the determined Djokovic, after several falls on court and one medical time-out, would press on to victory for his second win (previously 2011) of the prestigious Wimbledon trophy. It almost seemed he had torn a page from the autobiography of the man he was unseating as #1 player in the world.

Cover Photo: Clive Brunskill

Cover Photo:
Clive Brunskill

In Rafael Nadal’s book, “RAFA – My Story,” (co-authored with John Carlin / Hyperion Books 2011), Mr. Nadal, winner of the legendary 2008 Wimbledon Championship over Mr. Federer, observes as follows:

“When Federer has these patches of utter brilliance, the only thing you can do is try and stay calm, wait for the storm to pass. There is not much you can do when the best player in history is seeing the ball as big as a football and hitting it with power, confidence and laser accuracy. It happens, and you have to be ready for it. You can’t let yourself be demoralized; you have to remember — or you have to convince yourself — that he cannot possibly sustain that level of play game after game, that …he is human too, that if you stay cool and stick to your game plan and keep trying to wear him down and make him uncomfortable, he’ll leave that zone sooner or later. His mental intensity will slacken, and you’ll have your chance.”

The People's Critic at Wimbledon Courtesy Photo

The People’s Critic
at Wimbledon
Courtesy Photo

So it was on a beautiful day at the All-England Club, when two champions played so brilliantly it seemed that both were winners.

About The People's Critic

David Dow Bentley III, writes columns about the performing arts which are featured in newspapers from the East Coast to the Gulf Coast. A member of the American Theatre Critics Association (ATCA), The International Theatre Critics Association, and America's oldest theatrical club, The Lambs, he also had long service as the editor of The Lambs' Script magazine. Mr. Bentley may be contacted via e-mail at
This entry was posted in All-England Club, Championships Wimbledon, Grand Slams, John Carlin, Novak Djokovic, RAFA - My Story, Rafael Nada, Roger Federer, tennis, Wimbledon and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Djokovic Uses Nadal Method to Defeat Federer at Wimbledon

  1. Jeanne Edmonds says:

    Thanks for this message. Incredible match. I always think of Federer and ballet. He moves so beautifully and seemingly effortlessly. And that gorgeous ONE handed backhand! Hope you are doing well. And thoughts and prayers for your sister. Tennis Partner

  2. Laura Norton says:

    Fantastic Dow! I caught the last hour of the match – or better said I tuned in and I thought oh darn there’s only one point of tennis left to play; boy was I wrong. I thought Djokovic’s speech was wonderful and they followed with the camera to club level (they showed it on TV here) when Djokovic talked Princess Diana’s son and his wife – I don’t follow royalty much…. But it was much fun to watch.

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