LONDON, July 12, 2019 (by Sharada Rajagopalan)
World No. 1, Serbia’s Novak Djokovic reached his sixth Wimbledon final with a 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 win over the 23rd seed Roberto Bautista Agut in two hours and 49 minutes. The defending champion was pushed to the brink but kept his focus intact long enough to oust the untiring Spaniard.
Except the second set, Djokovic raced away with a lead in the match. However, the 31-year-old kept at his heels throughout forcing him to keep at his best. In the second set, Bautista Agut made a retaliatory stab at the top-seed going up an early break to lead 3-1 before the match was momentarily paused because of a spectator taking ill. When play resumed, the Spaniard was under pressure but fought past it to maintain his lead. Djokovic asserted his stature as the four-time champion across as the third and fourth sets as he marched onwards to victory.
Back to defend his crown…
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) 12. Juli 2019
“I had to dig deep. It’s the semi-finals and Roberto was playing his first Grand Slam semi-final. He was not overwhelmed,” Djokovic told the BBC, in his post-match interview in the tunnel. “He (Bautista Agut) played really well. He was managing his nerves in the first set but later on he established himself and started to play better.
“I got a bit tight. It was a close opening four or five games of the third set – that’s where the match could have gone a different way. I’m glad it went my way.”
The Belgrade native hit 42 winners to the World No. 22’s 34. In terms of unforced errors, Djokovic had only one unenforced error less than that of his opponent – 29 to 30. Of the two, it was the higher-ranked player who looked comfortable playing at the net, winning 79 per cent of his points.
This is Djokovic’s 25th final at a Major. More staggering is the fact that since 2018 Wimbledon, he has won 32 matches at the Slams, losing just one – to Dominic Thiem in the semi-finals of the French Open earlier in June this year. In the championship match, Djokovic awaits the winner of the semi-final between the third seed Rafael Nadal and the second seed Roger Federer.