Djokovic in Dire Straits Against Querrey Before Rain Halts Play Again at Wimbledon

Surprised that Djokovic is down 6-7(6), 1-6 to Querrey before rain stopped play? That’s tennis for you. One day you are unbeatable and the next you are on the verge of being knocked out. It doesn’t take much for things to go wrong.

That said, the rain break certainly can’t hurt Djokovic. He was looking completely disinterested when the rain started pouring down for the second time today. Like he was tanking. Extraordinary scenes.

Querrey came out in the zone making his first nine first serves and didn’t drop a point on serve in his first two service games I think. He was clearly in the zone. Djokovic, on the other hand, looked uncomfortable and vulnerable.

I sensed that something was off. He did well to save four break points late in the first set to force the tiebreak but Querrey just kept swinging away and hitting winners. Djokovic did really well to hang in the tiebreak as well but Querrey edged it.

At the beginning of the second set, I think Djokovic had a break opportunity but couldn’t convert after which Querrey broke in the next game with some more big hitting. That seemed to take the wind out of Djokovic’s sails because he looked disinterested from there on.

He looked very flat, uninspired, and disinterested. An extremely rare sight. But I guess not entirely unexpected given all the winning he’s done and the pressure he is under. He is currently going where no man has gone before and that takes its own toll.

The way I see it anything after the Djoker slam is just gravy for Djokovic anyway. The personal slam has not been done since Laver in 1969 so that is already an astonishing achievement. So astonishing that neither Federer nor Nadal could do it.

But Djokovic has been thrown a lifeline here with the rain because before it started it looked like Djokovic had already thrown in the towel. There just wasn’t any inspiration whatsoever to speak of.

Now he gets a chance to regroup and talk to Becker whose experience may prove invaluable here. But he is still in a deep hole. It reminds of the Anderson match from last year where Djokovic was also two sets to love down before winning in five sets.

In that match, there was also a rain break in the fifth set I think. I don’t remember what the score was then but I think it helped Djokovic. Who knows what would have happened if they kept playing today but Djokovic sure looked desperately uninspired.

I don’t think it was particularly helpful that they were playing on Court 1 either but at least that meant that the rain suspended the match. I think if both players agree they may complete their match on Center Court tomorrow.

I think that would help Djokovic so I don’t know if Querrey would agree. As I am writing this the schedule for tomorrow isn’t out yet. I’m hoping the match will be completed on Center Court as I think that could help Djokovic.

There is a different atmosphere on Center Court which would help to inspire Djokovic I think. But he needs to come out there with a lot more urgency and try to get the early break. If he wins the third set that would already almost make him the favorite.

But who knows how he will feel tomorrow. Sometimes you are just flat and there is nothing whatsoever you can do about it. There is just no inspiration. Nothing. It is like the very life has been sucked out of you.

But hopefully, Becker can work some magic and Djokovic comes back tomorrow with his mojo intact. A lot of people have already assumed Djokovic will now win because of the rain break but those are mostly the people who want Djokovic to lose.

I don’t think there is any guarantee that he will win. Yes, the rain break came at an opportune time but he still needs to get something going tomorrow. What if Querrey stays in the zone and Djokovic can’t find something?

He is such a great player that you kind of expect him to find something but Querrey only needs to play out of his mind for one more set and it will be all over. Clearly, Djokovic still has a lot of work left to do.

I hope he can pull it off because I’d like to see this extraordinary run continue but if he can’t he already did the most important thing which was to win the French Open, the career slam, and the Djoker slam.

  • Federer Keeps Improving With Win Over Evans

Federer defeated Evans 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 who I played in Futures qualifying once. Evans is a talented British player with a very nice one-handed backhand and I thought he played well but his lack of height hurts him because he doesn’t have a really big weapon.

And I thought Federer played really well too. He keeps getting better and if Djokovic loses tomorrow that would open the door for him to finally win #18. Federer has been knocking for some time now and it’s as if he almost deserves a slam by now.

The problem is he can’t beat Djokovic which is why he needs Djokovic to lose tomorrow. Of course, that is not the way you want to win a slam but at least that will give Fedfans something to cheer about again.

It has been a long, dry spell for Fedfans ever since 2012 when Federer won his last slam and at this stage, they would take it any way they can get it. It would clearly be better for Federer if he can defeat Djokovic himself but winning another slam can’t hurt his GOAT argument.

His draw is very favorable too. He next plays the winner of Dimitrov and Johnson and then likely Cilic or Nishikori. It doesn’t seem like any of those can hurt him and then it all depends on whether he will play Djokovic in the semis again.

But even Federer is not assured of a place in the semis so let’s just see how it plays out first. Djokovic is like Nadal to Federer now. He has lost the last four slam meetings and three of the last four World Tour Finals meetings(winning the meaningless round robin match last year) to Djokovic.

It would obviously be better for him to beat Djokovic en route to the title but he will certainly take another Wimbledon title any way he can get it.

  • Elsewhere in the Draw

Since my last post, Thiem lost in three tiebreaks to Vesely who was always gonna be a tricky opponent. Thiem’s returning clearly needs more work because he had a lot of trouble breaking Vesely and when it came to the tiebreaks his returning failed him again.

Then Del Potro came back from a one-set deficit today to upset Stan 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(2), 6-3 which was nice to see. He is missed a lot in tennis because when he is healthy he is right at the top and good to watch.

He is still slicing a lot which makes this an even more impressive victory. It looks like he is still protecting his wrist although he does hit over his backhand a fair amount which is also good to see. I just hope he won’t be injured again soon.

One of the best matches I ever saw was the semi-final at Wimbledon between him and Djokovic in 2013 and it would be great for tennis if he can return to those heights. I hope he can win some more matches here too.

He plays Pouille next which is a winnable match but I’m not taking anything for granted when it comes to Del Potro. He’s got a good draw but it’s just one match at a time with him right now.

Kyrgios also won today in five sets over his friend Brown in an entertaining match between two shotmakers. I’m glad Kyrgios won though and he now plays Lopez who defeated Fognini in five sets after dropping the first two sets.

  • Djokovic vs Querrey to be Completed on Court 1

Well, the playing schedule for tomorrow is finally out and Djokovic will have to complete his match against Querrey on Court 1. Not ideal I think but he must make the best of it and strike first tomorrow.

I think he can win tomorrow but I’m not as assured as the haters. How many times can you make the great escape anyway? Eventually, you will lose whether you like it or not. I have a feeling this may be Federer’s year again but we will see.

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And even if Federer makes it to the final again and faces Murray it will be a different Murray from last year when Lendl is in his corner. He just seems more calm and dangerous with Lendl coaching him. So winning the title won’t be a forgone conclusion for Federer.

As a fan, I am nervous for tomorrow but also looking forward to seeing whether Djokovic can rise to the challenge again. He always seems to find something but like I said eventually he will lose a match again and it could be tomorrow.

  • Highlights

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Posted in Grand Slams, Wimbledon.

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