That ending may well have been a cinematic event. But it was a clash of giants, with high-flying passages, that shattered that abstract maxim of tennis that proclaims that the one who plays the best always wins. That game almost two years ago was the last one played in Wimbledon, the most valuable tournament in the world, suspended last season due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. The spine. beyond the passage of time, remains embedded in the heart of Roger Federer.
“I still have things to do in tennis”, the Swiss had made it clear after losing that final, on July 14, 2019, when he had two match points against a Novak Djokovic whom he surpassed so much in the development of the game as in almost all numbers. Won everything but the key points, those who decide the winner in epic battles through history.
With almost 38 years would have configured the greatest feat of his life: Federer would have at least 21 titles of the Grand Slam, Djokovic would not have won the 16th at that time and Rafael Nadal, the third component of the men who struggle to endure in the times, he still would not have equaled the record held by the Swiss. This Monday the ball will sting again on the mythical grass of the All England and the reality will be different: without Spanish, the Swiss will play the last great bullet of his career and the Serbian, almost unbeatable, will seek to extend the reign with the aim – not so crazy, percent – of destroying all the brands.
“I’m at Wimbledon and I have a chance. My goal is to get into the second week because I will get stronger game by game and, from there, everything is possible”, described Federer, who arrives with just eight official matches in the last 16 months.
Current number eight in the world, The Swiss will turn 40 on August 8 next. Since his return to DohaIn March, he only tried to accumulate filming with his sights set on the grass. Before had been more than a year standing as a result of two operations on the right knee. The world in general and your heart in particular know that Wimbledon, the tournament that won eight times and in which he gets the most out of his aggressive tennisIt will have been the last attempt to do something great again. Achieving the 21st Grand Slam would take it off, at least temporarily, from Nadal (20) and Djokovic (19).
The draw, for now, threw a wink: the Swiss could only meet the Serbian, the top candidate, only in the final. With a careful debut against Frenchman Adrian Mannarino, a lover of grass tennis, the road continues to be winding: they envision Daniil Medvedev (2nd) in the quarter-finals and Alexander Zverev (6th) in the semi-finals, although players like Marin Cilic, Grigor Dimitrov on Matteo Berrettini. By ability, by history and by inner fire, yet always It is tempting to put Federer among the candidates.
Djokovic will arrive, on the contrary, with the clear goal of stretching supremacy. Champion for the ninth time at the Australian Open and for the second time at Roland Garros, in which he was one of the biggest hits in history, the Serbian seems to have no holes. “Roland Garros took away a lot of mental, physical and emotional strength from me, but it also gave me a lot of positive energy and I am full of confidence “, highlighted in the previous one.
Five times champion at Wimbledon, the world’s number one emerges as the big favorite. Not only to win Wimbledon, of course, but also to achieve what was only at the height of a human being: conquer the Golden Slam, all four Grand Slam tournaments and Olympic gold in singles during the same season, a feat only possible for German Steffi Graf (1988). Because Djokovic, the best of all pound for pound, is the threat of all also with a view to the Tokyo Olympics and the US Open. Among males, hardly the legendary Rod Laver was able to lift all four Slam trophies in one year (1969).
This Monday, for now, will debut against young British Jack Draper (250th) and you will see on the horizon to a bomber like the South African Kevin Anderson in a hypothetical second round. Later they would appear Russian Andrey Rublev (7th) in the quarterfinals; the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas (4), whom he defeated in the epic final at Roland Garros, in the semi-finals; Y Medvedev, Zverev or Federer himself in definition.
The candidate of all will have as a next challenge establish a triple tie 20-20-20 after Wimbledon in the title fight Grand Slam and, with that base as a catapult, become the best of times. Federer, an innate conqueror of chimeras, will feed your illusion to remove yourself, in the same room, that thorn nailed for two years.