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Novak Djokovic is the mentally strongest player on tour, you can look at that Wimbledon final against Roger Federer: Alexander Zverev

Novak Djokovic during the men
Novak Djokovic during the men's singles final against Daniil Medvedev at the 2021 Australian Open
Modified 01 Mar 2021

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic has been hailed as the mentally toughest player on the men's tour by his fellow top 10 star Alexander Zverev.

Zverev is a former World No. 3, but is currently ranked seventh in the world. The German has matched up against each member of the Big 3 - Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer - on multiple occasions so far.

Zverev holds a 4-3 winning edge over Federer, while he is 2-5 against Nadal and 2-6 vs Djokovic.

While fans have been debating for years who among the Big 3 is the toughest to outsmart, for Alexander Zverev the choice is crystal clear. In a recent chat with fellow players Marin Cilic, Bianca Andreescu and Diego Schwartzman, Zverev picked Novak Djokovic when asked to name the mental giant to beat all other mental giants.

The German cited the 2019 Wimbledon final between Djokovic and Federer as an example of the Serb's mental toughness.

"Novak Djokovic," Zverev said in response to the question about who the mentally strongest player is. "You can look at that Wimbledon final against Roger Federer. He found a way (to win that match). Roger was serving for the title in the final set 40-15 up."

Alexander Zverev then highlighted Roger Federer's own experience as another reason to admire Novak Djokovic for being able to script such a dramatic comeback in the match.

"Roger Federer does know how to win Grand Slams," Zverev said. "Let's be clear."

The 2019 Wimbledon final between Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer saw a comeback for the ages by the Serb

Novak Djokovic shakes hands with Roger Federer following the men
Novak Djokovic shakes hands with Roger Federer following the men's singles final at Wimbledon 2019

The 2019 Wimbledon men's singles final will go down in history as one of the best matches ever, for more reasons than one.

Novak Djokovic defeated Roger Federer 7-6(5), 1-6, 7-6(4), 4-6, 13-12(3) in just under 5 hours to walk away with the bragging rights. The epic encounter is the longest singles final in Wimbledon history (and the second longest final at any Major).

Federer held two match points at 8-7 in the fifth set, but Djokovic saved them both and roared back to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. A win for Federer would have marked his 21st Grand Slam singles title and possibly altered the race for most Majors in men's tennis history.

2019 marked the first year that Wimbledon had a final set tie-breaker at 12-all. Incidentally, the Djokovic vs Federer final was also the first singles match at the tournament where the final set tie-breaker came into use.

Published 01 Mar 2021, 19:28 IST
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