Henman: Djokovic can better Federer's major tally

By Sports Desk July 19, 2019

Tim Henman believes Novak Djokovic can top Roger Federer's record grand slam haul after the Serbian beat the Swiss great in a historic Wimbledon final.

Djokovic retained his title at the All England Club with a 7-6 (7-5) 1-6 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 13-12 (7-3) victory last Sunday.

The world number one saved two match points before winning the longest singles final in the grass-court grand slam, in the first edition of the tournament since deciding-set tie-breaks were introduced at SW19.

Djokovic has won four of the last five major titles to move four behind Federer's record tally of 20 and two short of Rafael Nadal's total.

Henman, a six-time grand slam semi-finalist, thinks 32-year-old Djokovic could go on to surpass Nadal and Federer's haul of major triumphs.

The Brit, a HSBC ambassador, told Omnisport: "It's going to be very interesting to watch. He's [Djokovic] five years younger than Federer so he's got much more time on his side.

"The level of play that Djokovic is at right now, it really wouldn't surprise me if he did overtake Federer in the future."

Henman feels Federer, who turns 38 next month, has at least one more grand slam victory in him.

Asked if he thinks the epic final in London was Federer's last chance to win another major, he said: "I don't think so. I think it's very difficult to write these guys off that are playing at such a high level.

"Federer's not going to be around forever but I think it's important we all enjoy him while he's still playing."

Henman does not consider the classic showdown last weekend to be the greatest final he has seen, even if it ranks high up with his favourites.

He said: "It's got to be up there as one of the best finals of all time. I still think for me the 2008 Wimbledon final [between] Nadal and Federer was probably the best match I've ever seen but this was a close second."

 

- Tim Henman was talking on behalf of The Open patron HSBC. HSBC are once again offering free golf to children and their friends via the HSBC Hour which are taking place at over 500 clubs in the UK and Ireland. For more information, please visit: https://www.theopen.com/patrons/hsbc

Related items

  • Verdasco falls, Garin battles through in Rio Verdasco falls, Garin battles through in Rio

    Fernando Verdasco slumped to another first-round loss, while Cristian Garin battled through at the Rio Open on Monday.

    Verdasco, the ninth seed at the ATP 500 tournament, was beaten 6-3 6-3 by fellow Spaniard Pablo Andujar on the clay in Brazil.

    The 36-year-old has fallen to three straight losses, the first of which was a third-round defeat at the Australian Open.

    Verdasco – the 2018 runner-up – was one of three seeds tested, but Garin survived a test against Andrej Martin.

    Garin, who won the title in Cordoba earlier this month, needed more than three hours to edge Martin 4-6 7-5 7-6 (7-5).

    Albert Ramos-Vinolas departed, the seventh seed falling to 16-year-old Carlos Alcaraz 7-6 (7-2) 4-6 7-6 (7-2) after three hours, 36 minutes.

    Federico Delbonis advanced, while wildcard Thiago Seyboth Wild needed almost four hours to get past Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 5-7 7-6 (7-3) 7-5.

    There were also upsets at the Delray Beach Open, where John Millman and Adrian Mannarino were beaten in the first round.

    Millman, the fifth seed, went down to Yoshihito Nishioka 3-6 6-4 6-2 and seventh seed Mannarino fell to Kwon Soon-woo 1-6 6-3 6-2.

    Frances Tiafoe, the champion in 2018, came through his opener against qualifier Emilio Gomez.

  • Paire through in Marseille as Ymer sets up Tsitsipas clash Paire through in Marseille as Ymer sets up Tsitsipas clash

    Sixth seed Benoit Paire secured safe passage through to the last 16 of the Open 13 Marseille in one of three main-draw matches on Monday.

    Paire was drawn against compatriot Gregoire Barrere in a battle of two home hopefuls, but the more established player triumphed in straight sets.

    The 20th-ranked star broke in the third game of the opener and protected his advantage in straightforward fashion.

    There were no breaks in the second, but Paire dominated the tie-break to claim a 6-4 7-6 (7-1) victory.

    Barrere was not the only Frenchman to exit the competition, as former world number seven Richard Gasquet went down 6-3 3-6 7-5 to Mikael Ymer.

    Ymer will now meet Stefanos Tsitsipas, the defending champion and number two seed, who was granted a first-round bye.

    In the final match of the day, Alexander Bublik defeated Marton Fucsovics 6-4 7-5.

  • Clijsters takes solace in periods of dominance during Muguruza defeat Clijsters takes solace in periods of dominance during Muguruza defeat

    Kim Clijsters took solace in feeling like she had periods of dominance against Garbine Muguruza, who ensured the four-time major champion's comeback began with a defeat.

    Making her first appearance on the WTA Tour since the 2012 US Open, former world number one Clijsters fell to a 6-2 7-6 (8-6) defeat against Australian Open finalist Muguruza in the first round of the Dubai Tennis Championships.

    The 36-year-old dropped her first two service games in the second set but managed to get things back on serve and force a tie-break, something she was proud of despite her early exit.

    Clijsters said: "I felt obviously the second set was a big difference compared to the first set. My timing in the first set, my footing, just kept looking for it.

    "I felt a few times it was there, then it would be off a few points. At times I felt like I was close. I was seeing the ball clear. Just started reading her game better, as well, getting used to her pace a little bit.

    "Yeah, second set I felt I was really in the match. I felt like for a while I was dominating some of the points.

    "I think that's a good feeling to have, knowing the way I started the first set and then the way I was able to get back into that second set, with the type of tennis I played, it's something that is the positive about this match. I'll take that with me for the next matches.

    "I had a good feeling out there. I do feel a little bit of, I'm not going to say relief, but a feeling that the pace I can handle."

    Muguruza accepted she went into the match completely unsure of what to expect, with Clijsters representing something of an unknown quantity, though she is now anticipating the Belgian to cause problems for plenty of players.

    "I think she played very well, especially in the second set at the end," Muguruza said. "It was very tight.

    "I think this is just special because I didn't know how [Clijsters was] going to play. I know she can play incredible - she did at some point play [at an] incredible level. I haven't seen her play in so long, so it's like, 'Okay, what's going to happen?'

    "I'm sure she's going to get better and better, for sure, [and] give us a lot of trouble."

    Clijsters' fellow Belgian Elise Mertens was in action earlier in the day and had significantly fewer issues, cruising past Wang Qiang in straight sets.

    Mertens needed a little over an hour to secure her progression, ultimately running out a comfortable 6-3 6-0 victor – winning the second set in just 25 minutes.

    World number 18 Alison Riske suffered a shock 7-6 (7-3) 1-6 6-3 defeat at the hands of Ons Jabeur, who set up a second-round clash with Simona Halep.

    The Tunisian, who is ranked 45th in the world, eventually came out on top and owed much to her ability to hit a winner, outscoring Riske 28 to 11 in that metric as she claimed a seventh career win over a top-20 opponent.

    Barbora Strycova came through a lengthy encounter with 18-year-old Amanda Animisova, beating the American 6-3 (7-3) 2-6 6-4 over two hours and 33 minutes, taking advantage of her opponent's proneness to errors.

    Marketa Vondrousova was the highest-ranked player in action on Tuesday, and she dispatched Anastasija Sevastova with relative ease, winning 6-3 6-2.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.