Djokovic Looks To Overturn “Dominant” Federer
Wimbledon, Great Britain
by ATP Staff|
The World No. 2 expressed his admiration for his Swiss counterpart’s resurgence, two years removed from his most recent Grand Slam final.
“His level has been very high, I have to say,” said Djokovic of Federer’s fortnight at SW19. “I've been watching him in a few matches. I mean, with his immense experience of winning this title so many times and, of course, from being so dominant in men's tennis for over a decade, that helps in the approach of the Grand Slam final.
“I respect Roger and everything he has achieved in his career as a player. To come back and play finals of Wimbledon again, it's incredible what he's doing. But, again, when we come to the court, that ends. I'm there to win against whoever is across the net.”
Djokovic is seeking his first grass-court victory over Federer, having fallen in their only other contest in the Wimbledon semi-finals two years ago. It will be their 12th Grand Slam meeting (Federer leads 6-5) and the 10th time they have played each other in a final (Djokovic leads 5-4).
“We only played once (on grass),” Djokovic continued. “It was a four-set win for him in the semis of Wimbledon, so it's a good chance for me to try to win against him on his favourite surface, on his favourite court. This is where he has the most success in his career, winning many titles. He's been looking very good throughout the whole tournament, very dominant with his matches. I'm sure that he wants to win this title as much as I do.”
Despite his praise for the 17-time Grand Slam champion, Djokovic understands what is at stake and is cognisant of the task at hand. In their 35th FedEx ATP Head2Head encounter, the Serb admits that anything less than top form won’t suffice.
“Hopefully I can tactically prepare myself and execute well to not allow him to be at his top shape on Sunday,” said Djokovic. “It would mean a lot mentally for me. The key against him is trying to not allow him to dictate too much because he likes to be very aggressive and come to the net. I'm going to have to be able to get as many returns back in the court and try to also stay closer to the line and protect the baseline.
“We know each other's games. We played many matches on different occasions. Only once on a grass court, but we played so many times in semi-finals and finals of Grand Slams, different surfaces, big matches over the years. They were very exciting.
“I'm going to be physically ready and fit to go the distance this time. There is plenty of motivation from my side to win this Grand Slam final.”