“I was trying to find every possible help and energy that I can. It paid off, I guess.”
– Novak Djokovic
I was at my happiest when he won Wimbledon but I never realized that watching your idol defends a slam title for the first time was entirely a different feeling. Words are not enough to describe the moment – it’s beyond special, and even beyond extraordinary especially that it’s an epic battle filled with contested rallies. For this – I just give you these eight fantastic facts you must know.
Fact #1: It’s the first and the longest final of Novak and Rafa in Australian Open, which lasted for five hours and 53 minutes at 1: 10 AM (Australian time).
Fact #2: It’s the first of the three slam final matches that Novak won but dropped the first set (5-7). Just the first set and it already lasted for one hour and 20 minutes.
Fact #3: Novak only had two double faults to Rafa’s four during the entire match. Novak was also two points close to beating Rafa in terms of firing the fastest serve speed – Rafa was on 204 KMH.
Fact #4: Novak could have served and won the match in four when he’s up with three break points at 4 – 3 lead. Rafa, even the surface is not favorable to his game, handled the pressure so well and managed to win five consecutive points.
Fact #5: Novak was 30 – 40 down while serving at 6 – 5. The timing of a strong serve came at the right moment for him to level it at deuce. While holding a match point at A – 40, Novak came near the net to fire a forehand winner.
Fact #6: The Australian Open website claims that Novak won “more than 48% of 3 to 8 shot rallies.”
Fact #7: This is Novak’s fifth grand slam win since turning pro on 2003, his fourth while using HEAD racket and his third Norman Brookes’ trophy. This was also his seventh consecutive win against Rafa since 2011 BNP Paribas Open Finals in Indian Wells.
Fact #8: This is the third slam final that I saw Novak’s girlfriend, Jelena Ristic, in his box.