After securing his second Wimbledon title on Sunday, Novak Djokovic departs from the All England Club with two finals appearances and another Grand Slam victory this year. As for Roger Federer, the 32-year-old was worn down on Sunday, but he has one more chance at a major tournament this season.
While Federer wasn't able to secure his potentially record-breaking eighth Wimbledon championship, it wasn't from a lack of trying. Federer clawed his way back from a 2-1 deficit after three sets and even saved match point multiple times to put pressure on Djokovic in a fifth and final set.
Though it wasn't always flawless tennis from the two players, Ben Rothenberg of The New York Times notes just how strong the two were in London:
And there is proof that you don't need quality tennis for quality entertainment. Both struggling, but this fourth is astounding. #wimbledon— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) July 6, 2014
In order for either to hoist the trophy at Arthur Ashe Stadium, they will have to get through defending champion Rafael Nadal. Though he bowed out in the fourth round at Wimbledon, Nadal did not allow that to stop him last year after losing in the first round at the All England Club.
With the Wimbledon Championships officially in the books, let's take a look at early predictions for both heading into the 2014 U.S. Open.
Outlook for U.S. Open
If his Wimbledon play proved anything, it's that Federer might not be done just yet.
Following a down season last year where Federer reached just one semifinal in the Australian Open, the Swiss player now has more major wins in 2014 (14) than in all four Slams in 2013. One signature part of his game that has also returned is his clutch play, as Wimbledon notes:
Much like at Wimbledon, Federer comes into the U.S. Open with plenty of past success. Though he hasn't quite matched his seven titles from Wimbledon, his five victories on the hard courts of Arthur Ashe Stadium are the second most in his career.
As for the way he's playing as of late, even Djokovic pointed out just how strong the 17-time Grand Slam winner is performing, per John Branch of The New York Times:
"[Wimbledon] is where he has the most success in his career, winning many titles,” Djokovic said. “He’s been looking very good throughout the whole tournament, very dominant with his matches. I’m sure that he wants to win this title as much as I do."
Unfortunately, he hasn't quite shown the similar recent triumph in the United States. The last of his five titles came in 2008, and he hasn't reached a final since 2009, with the former champion bowing out in the fourth round last season—marking the first time since 2004.
Though another title on American soil looks bleak, his health has been great as of late, as Liz Clarke of The Washington Post pointed out during the final:
Though 5 years younger than Federer, Djokovic calls trainer a 2nd time; now to knead right calf. Djokovic leads 2-1 but it's on serve in 5th— Liz Clarke (@lizclarketweet) July 6, 2014
Then there's the improvement in his serve, which former U.S. Open winner Andy Roddick noted during the fifth set on Sunday (NSFW language):
Best I've seen Roger serve since ....... Damn it— andyroddick (@andyroddick) July 6, 2014
For Federer, making it to another final would be considered a huge accomplishment, but that might be a difficult achievement after his slow decline so far at the U.S. Open.
Prediction: Lose in semifinal.
Already participating in two final matches this year, Djokovic has now been a part of a the last matchup in six of his the last eight Grand Slams. With hopes of catching both Nadal and Federer in major titles, he'll need another strong showing in the United States.
Can Djokovic win a second Grand Slam this season at the U.S. Open?
The Serbian clinched another title on Sunday and earned some recognition from Federer following the match, per the ESPN broadcast:
"Going into a match with Novak is always going to be tough and sometimes rough physically," Federer said. "I can only say congratulations. Amazing match and an amazing tournament once again; well deserved."
Along with his great play on the court this season, Djokovic also has a lot to be happy about off of it. The now two-time Wimbledon winner has been a huge winner away from the game this year, as Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv points out:
Djokovic getting married soon, baby on the way and he wins @wimbledon...Dude has a lot to be thankful for.— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) July 6, 2014
Though that wouldn't seem to make a big difference for an athlete, he is playing inspired tennis as of late.
Now coming away from the All England Club with a seventh Grand Slam, Djokovic has plenty to look forward to heading into next month's major tournament. The exuberant player dedicated his win to his family, per BBC One:
Throw in the fact that Djokovic was nearly flawless against Federer and had him against the ropes nearly the entire match, and the Serbian has plenty to be happy about heading to the U.S. Open.
Of those six finals he's reached, the Djoker has now come away with two Grand Slam titles in the last two seasons. After making it to four consecutive finals in the last four seasons at the U.S. Open, he appears set on participating in yet another this season.
After making it to the finals five times throughout his career, a second title should be in his future. Thanks to strong play at the All England Club, he will carry over that success—as he did in 2011—and win the U.S. Open.
Prediction: Djokovic wins second U.S. Open title.
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