There is one more singles match left at Wimbledon in 2018 and the curtain closes as ever with the men’s final on Centre Court. This year the final sees Kevin Anderson taking on Novak Djokovic for the most prestigious title in the game.
Anderson will be going in search of a first Grand Slam title in this match while Djokovic will be looking for his first since his lengthy injury lay off so this will be an important clash in the career of both men.
You can do no more than respect Kevin Anderson right now. Lesser men will have wilted after a gruelling yet entertaining battle with Gael Monfils in the last 16 but not the South African. He then mustered up the energy to come back from two sets down to Roger Federer in the quarter final to win a four hour epic and took extremes to new levels in the semi-final which he outlasted John Isner in a six hour classic.
You are left wondering what the South African has left in the tank for this Wimbledon final but in just his second Grand Slam final if he can’t get some inspiration and adrenaline to compete here I would be surprised even allowing for what we’ve seen from him so far. He is certainly playing well enough to take this title, if he has the requisite amount of petrol left in the tank.
We shouldn’t forget that Novak Djokovic just went over five hours with Rafael Nadal in what was an all-time great Wimbledon semi-final. It should be noted that the match was spread over two days but they would not have had much recovery time in between the two sessions of play, and Djokovic will have had less than 24hrs before he steps out on court for this final.
Although Djokovic is seasoned at the very top level he won’t have played many matches like the one he did against Nadal on Friday and Saturday recently and it will be interesting to see how he is feeling when this one begins. Much like Anderson I expect adrenaline to take over with the Serb too but I wouldn’t be surprised if he is actually slightly more jaded than Anderson as the rallies in Djokovic’s semi-final were much more punishing.
Head to Head
These two have met on six previous occasions with Novak Djokovic winning five of those matches to the one of Kevin Anderson. Anderson won their first meeting but Djokovic has won the five since although only one of those has been in the last six years. That was their sole match on grass too which was here in the last 16 in 2015. Anderson went two sets up before Djokovic powered back to win 7-5 in the decider.
I guess this final will be determined by who has the most energy left in their weary bodies and I’m in no position to second guess that so I won’t be betting on the match outcome but it seems unlikely that having put their bodies through the exertions they both have that either are going to relinquish this opportunity without a right good scrap.
I expect to see more than 3.5 sets in this match. Anderson has fought brilliantly all week and that semi-final must have taken something out of Djokovic. If I was forced I would still back the Serbian to win here but not before we go into a fourth, and hopefully for us neutrals, a fifth set.
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