Was Roger Federer ever booed

The mental component of the masterpiece

Novak Djokovic showed his best game in his Wimbledon victory over Roger Federer in the crucial moments, although he had the audience against him. Conversely, the Swiss are convinced that they will emerge stronger from the missed fairy tale.

London / Vienna. Novak Djokovic's triumph over Roger Federer in Wimbledon 2019 will not only go down as the longest final in tournament history. This memorable game over five movements and 4:57 hours was too rich in twists and turns and drama, number games, stories and emotions. The “Italian Gazzetta dello Sport” wrote of the “Match of the Century”, the Spanish “Marca” described it as a “monumental finale” and the French “L'Equipe” simply declared the two tennis professionals to be “super heroes”.

The distribution of roles in the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club was clear, however: The sympathy of the audience in this fascinating atmosphere on Sunday evening belonged to Federer, Djokovic was even booed in the meantime. According to his own admission, the 32-year-old masked everything and converted the cheers in his imagination. "When the crowd calls Roger, I hear Novak," said the Serb and laughed. With more seriousness he then declared: "It was mentally the toughest game I have ever played."

As the first player in 71 years, since a certain American Robert Falkenburg, the world number one Djokovic won the most important tennis tournament after match points from his opponent. Conversely, Federer let his Wimbledon fairy tale slip out of his hands and was a little bit more emotionally affected than it had appeared at the award ceremony. "I feel like I missed an incredible opportunity," said the 37-year-old. “This time I'm more angry than disappointed or sad.” Ultimately, all the relevant statistics spoke for the Swiss, with the exception of the tie breaks - in the last single, of all things, the new rule with a tie break in the fifth set at 12:12 was applied. Match balls awarded against Djokovic have an inglorious past for Federer, he also lost in the semifinals at the US Open in 2010 and 2011. Federer has been waiting for a win against Djokovic in one of the four biggest tournaments for seven years. "I'm good at coming out of it stronger because I don't want to be sad about what is actually a great match."

Becker demands more respect for Djokovic

Djokovic has now won four of the last five Grand Slam tournaments and underlined that he is currently the best player, and with 16 triumphs now overtake Federer (20) and Nadal (18) in the eternal race for the most Grand Slam titles could. This is one of the reasons why Boris Becker urged more respect for his former protégé. "Now, after 16 Grand Slams, people have to realize how great Novak Djokovic is," said the BBC commentator, who coached the Serb from 2013-2016. His thirst for victory has not yet been satisfied, the three-time Wimbledon winner Becker is convinced: "He is already one of the greatest of all time, but he wants to be the greatest of all time."

("Die Presse", print edition, July 16, 2019)