“It was one of the longest, most interesting, and most exciting matches I played in my career.” says the world no.1 and two-time defending Champion, Novack Djokovic. He defeats Stanislas Wawrinka in five sets, 1-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 12-10.
Novack showed genuine respect for his opponent after the match saying: “All the credit to him. I feel sorry that one of us had to lose. He definitely deserved to win.” “He played more aggressive than me and served really well … I was just trying to fight … this match means a lot to me and to him also.”
It was indeed, an epic match that delighted the tennis World and last more than five hours. At the end, Novack thanked the crowd for staying to watch, “I didn’t expect you guys to stay that long. I hope you enjoyed as much as I did.” He also said that the match brought him back memories from playing Rafa last year in the finals.
The match was exciting, dramatic and unpredictable until the end. The trainer was called by Wawrinka a few times to massage his legs, Novack touched his lower back a few times, and many calls were challenged. That’s how the match progressed with the First set going to Wawrinka 1-6. Novack fought back, and got the break late in the second set to close it out, 7-5. In the Third set Novack takes it 6-4.
What it seems like a somehow routine match to the defending Champion, starts to change. Drama unfolds at the end of the fourth set tie-breaker with a tired looking Djokovic, two points away from victory, not able to stop Wawrinka from closing out the set, forcing a Fifth and decisive set. Wawrinka plays solid and hits some fantastic shots and gets the set.
The final set starts with both exchanging a few breaks in the beginning. At 3/3, a new order is established. They both fight hard until the end to hold their serves, but at 11-10, Novack finally gets the two last points after playing great defense, exploiting Wawrinka”s backhand and getting the errors he needed to close out the match.
At the end, it didn’t seem right to say that Wawrinka lost the match. Novack says that Stan deserved equally to be the winner of the match. His performance was the best of his career. ESPN commentator Darren Cahill also said that Stan hasn’t lost anything tonight.
As for Wawrinka, he says that “this match is important if I want to keep improving myself, my game, to try to come back closer to the Top 10. I need to use all the tournament that I did this week.”
Novack moves on to the quarter finals, and will face Thomas Berdich, a match he says, he will just start thinking about it tomorrow, as for tonight, “I just want to enjoy this moment,” which somehow might be a life changing experience for both players indeed.
They both took to social media, twitter, to thank each other. Wawrinka (@StanWawrinka): “Congrats for the fight tonight! Good luck for the rest of the tournament…” and Djokovic (@DjokerNole) : “Stan. thank you very much!! Sorry for your loss..Wish you all the best for the rest of the season..It was great pleasure.”
And in case the tennis World wonder how Novack is doing he posted: “It is 3 am Monday morning. Just another day in the office.”
And tells the crowd on his on court interview that, “My body feels great, it was only five hours of a match… It makes you appreciate the sport.” And makes tennis fans around the World appreciate the effort they both left in the court in Melbourne.
Lucia Hoffman – Tennisvista