Racquet Reaction

Wimbledon: Djokovic d. Reynolds

Thursday, June 27, 2013 /by
AP Photo
AP Photo

WIMBLEDON, England—Darcis over Nadal? OK. Stakhovsky over Federer. Fine. Reynolds over Djokovic? Now that's crazy talk. The last-remaining American man in the draw has never been ranked inside the Top 60 and has only 27 career wins—just one of them earned this year, against Benjamin Becker in the first round of Indian Wells.

But it wouldn't be Wimbledon 2013 if I didn't think, just for a moment, that things were going a little too smoothly once the world No. 156 and the world No. 1 headed to a first-set tiebreaker underneath the Centre Court roof. Had some of that "magic" Sergiy Stakhovsky referred to camped out overnight at the All England Club, waiting for just the right moment to return today? If there was any possible way to top yesterday's events, a Djokovic stumble with all of Wimbledon watching just might do the trick.

The only magic we saw, however, was some of Djokovic's exceptional returning in the second and third sets, after he won that aforementioned tiebreaker in short order. The Serb, after letting four break points go by the wayside with some poor misses, shored up his game and raced to a 5-0 lead in the tiebreaker. He won it, 7-2, and not long after, won the match, 7-6 (2), 6-3, 6-1.

Reynolds, who some might call the Djokovic of World TeamTennis, acquitted himself well in Day 4's final match. Serving with a knee bend that recalls Andy Roddick—only more exaggerated—Reynolds frustrated Djokovic for parts of the first set with powerful first balls, and he was good on the ground as well. The tiebreaker was a departure from Reynolds' form throughout much of the first set, during which he held his own in rallies and moved Djokovic around as often as the top seed did to him. Djokovic wasn't razor sharp and was a bit tentative early on, opting to go cross-court when down-the-line openings existed, but he was fantastic while serving, winning 91 percent of first-serve points.

Taking the tiebreaker eased up Djokovic, who perhaps was feeling some pressure early on after yesterday's madness. But maybe not, and you couldn't have thought that after the next two clinical sets. The rout was on once Djokovic broke Reynolds in the third game of the second set, thanks in part to the Washington Kastles star letting a forehand drop between his legs—and fall well in. Could he get away with that in an exhibition? OK. In WTT? Fine. Against Novak Djokovic? Now that's crazy talk.


IBM Stat of the Match: Zero: The number of break-point chances Reynolds had a look at. Djokovic converted just 22 percent of his break-point chances, but he had 18 of them.

IBM is a proud sponsor and official technology partner for Wimbledon. For more information on this match, including the Keys to the Match, visit IBM's SlamTracker.

 

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