Tantrums and thrills as Djokovic beats Baghdatis
Novak Djokovic and Marcos Baghdatis had the normally reserved Centre Court crowd rocking in the aisles on Saturday as they produced their second Wimbledon blockbuster in four years.sports Updated: Jun 26, 2011 23:56 IST
Novak Djokovic and Marcos Baghdatis had the normally reserved Centre Court crowd rocking in the aisles on Saturday as they produced their second Wimbledon blockbuster in four years.
For the record, world number two Djokovic won 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 but the scoreline fails to do justice to a match which had everything from temper tantrums to jaw-dropping rallies.
Serbia's Djokovic demolished his racquet frame after one point that bordered on the preposterous at the end of the second set but despite feeling heavy-legged he resisted a furious barrage from the grinning Cypriot showman to reach the last 16.
The 24-year-old won 41 consecutive matches this year, including the Australian Open, but few of those wins provided the sheer sporting theatre that captivated 15,000 fans in Centre Court and millions around the world on television.
"I mean, playing here the last five years, there were not many moments when I saw practically all the Centre Court stadium on their feet," Djokovic, who faces France’s Michael Llodra on Monday, told reporters.
"It was incredible really. It was exciting to see the Centre Court of Wimbledon being so enthusiastic about the match.
"Me as a player, I have to appreciate that and be happy I was a part of the exciting match.
"I was moving really bad. I didn't feel great on the court. I think I won because I was hanging in there and fighting."
The warm embrace at the net between two of the game's stand-out personalities spoke volumes and Djokovic was clearly relieved to still be in the hunt for the Wimbledon title.
He may even seek out former champion John McEnroe to prepare for facing left-hander Llodra.
"If he's willing to change his clothing. Most of the time I see him he's in a suit and tie. Maybe he's going to change for tomorrow. We'll see," he said.
First Published: Jun 26, 2011 02:19 IST