That shocked me. It is no surprise that Novak Djokovic won Wimbledon – this guy is in the form of his life – but what was a huge surprise was the manner in which the big Serb did it. To go out there against Rafael Nadal, the great Nadal, who had won his last 20 games on this grass, and take on the champion like that – to go two sets up after little more than an hour, that was phenomenal tennis.
Djokovic strode out on to Centre Court with so much confidence. This year has shown him he can beat Nadal and he drew on that yesterday. That gave him a push before the match had even begun – and, from what Nadal said afterwards, that record, with Djokovic winning four out of their five final meetings, was there in the back of the man from Majorca's mind, too.
This year Djokovic has improved his serve and his forehand is better. But where he won it yesterday – in those two sets that came so close to shattering Nadal – was in his willingness to get forward. His volleying was fantastic and I tell you that it is not easy to go out there and volley against Nadal. You have to be one hell of a player to do it.
The Spaniard gets so much spin on his groundstrokes – it's heavy spin and he takes it low so the ball is below the net. It takes a magician to volley well in those circumstances, and how fitting was it that Djokovic set up match point with a serve and volley? Man, that certainly rolled the clock back.
Djokovic went into the net 26 times over the four sets and came out on top in 19 of them. He played well in all aspects of his game but the other area that really impressed me yesterday was his serving, and his second serve in particular. He averaged 93mph for that second serve, quicker than Nadal, and he won 54 per cent of points that went to his second serve.
But if we are talking numbers, the one that really stands out is 74 – the number of minutes it took for Rafa to find himself two sets down. Rafa Nadal losing a set in the final of Wimbledon 6-1 – now that is unreal.
There were a couple of issues with Nadal's game yesterday. His slices did not work as well as they usually do – I think, if anything, they worked against him at key moments.
So, as world No 1, the Australian Open champion and Wimbledon champion, does this mean Novak's now the main man in the men's game? No, sir, it does not and I'm sure if you asked Djokovic he would say the same. I see these two guys as being about equal, although at his absolute best I can still see an edge in Nadal's favour.
The guy who should be worried by all this is Roger Federer. The US Open is now a huge event for Roger. He has now got these two younger guys getting clear of him: can he play catch up?Reuse content