London: Novak Djokovic knew all along that his game was good enough to win more Grand Slam titles. It was his mind that was the problem.
And so after failing to convert a match point against Roger Federer in the fourth set of the Wimbledon final, and after losing five games in a row to get pushed to a fifth set, Djokovic left the court for a bathroom break so he could give himself a pep talk.
What Djokovic needed right then, he explained Monday, was “positive encouragement,” a way to confront the “disappointment that is bringing with itself the fear and the doubt and all these different demons inside.”
It worked “I managed to have my convictions stronger than my doubts in this moment,” he said, “and managed to push myself the very last step and to win the trophy.”
Djokovic’s 6-7 (7), 6-4, 7-6 (4), 5-7, 6-4 victory over Federer on Sunday earned the 27-year-old Serb his second Wimbledon championship and his seventh major title overall, matching the career totals of John McEnroe and Mats Wilander.