Djokovic played smart
The final itself was not much to behold. Anderson had spent 21 hours and one minute just to get to the final and for two sets, he was running on fumes. If he stayed back, he was out-rallied; if he came in, he was passed. And as for his serve, it was stuttering while Djokovic, one of the best returners in the game, stifled it.
Djokovic played smart: he served to the big man’s forehand to negate the return. Anderson’s forehand is his stronger wing but his weaker return so the soon-to-be champion targeted it. Then he slowed down the pace, he made Anderson work knowing full well that the South African had no gas left in the tank.
Only when he was homing in on the title did he look frail. Anderson was playing better while on the other side of the net, Djokovic was getting tight. Three double faults in one game pulled up two set points for the South African. Djokovic wriggled out of that one.
In the next service game, Djokovic fended off another three set points. Bounce the ball 10, 12, 18 times and bang: a service winner. You could almost hear his nerves fraying while the crowd were getting involved, fed up with the interminable ball bouncing before every serve. No matter, Djokovic held his nerve, controlled his emotions and got to the tiebreak. Once there, he was always in charge. That is hat champions do.