Novak Djokovic is coming back from afar and making an impression
Novak Djokovic only needed a mirror. A mirror to look in the face and remember the exceptional tennis that he is able to decline on grass.
Small miracles in spades, like this backhand passing end of lunar race, finished flat belly to make the plane.
“There, right away, there is happiness, pride, fullness,” he confided before taking leave. The rest of the locker room can continue to tremble. At Wimbledon, a happy “Djoko” never loses.
The six-time winner rallied from a two-set deficit against Jannik Sinner. Here he is more than ever favorite to succeed him. He will face Cameron Norrie in the semis who beat David Goffin in five sets.
Novak Djokovic has not lost on Wimbledon Centre Court since 2013 (final against Murray).
That is to say if the unthinkable suddenly seemed within reach of racket, Tuesday afternoon, when Jannik Sinner flew two sets to nothing, suffocating as rarely the boss of the places at the exchange (7-5, 6-2).
Beaten in power, imprecise in the service, “Nole” abused the cushioning as so many signals of impotence.
Whispers and round eyes roamed the crowd; which would nevertheless witness in the next two hours a formidable and authoritarian show of force of the six-time winner.
That Novak Djokovic has several lives on a tennis court, everyone knows. But a mystery remains: how exactly does he use them? How did he change everything on Tuesday without changing anything?
Thanks to the mirror
From a break, from the beginning of the third set, the Serb regained control of the exchange. And this tug-of-war in rhythm that he was undergoing suddenly became his playground. In fact, it served better, much better.
And played faster, much faster.
So was it enough to turn up the volume? “For two sets, he was better than me. So I went out, took a little toilet break and gave myself a motivational speech (“pep talk”) in front of the mirror.
I’m serious, explained “Djoko” at the microphone of the stadium. Sometimes, when nothing is going in the right direction, it is something necessary. I gathered my thoughts, I recomposed myself.
After that, I was lucky to break it very quickly. I noticed that he was moving less well and that gave me a lot of confidence.”