The 2018 Wimbledon final features Serbian superstar Novak Djokovic, a three time Wimbledon champion, facing off with Kevin Anderson, a South African veteran in his second career Grand Slam final. Our panelists offer up their previews, with predictions.
Novak Djokovic vs Kevin Anderson
Steen Kirby: This could be a good final, if the players aren’t too exhausted to play well. Anderson got a day off but he played a few more sets (equivalent) beyond the 5th set in his 26-24 5th set win against Isner. Djokovic was pushed to five sets himself (over 2 days) against Rafael Nadal as Djokovic pushed himself past the line against his rival. This is the second slam final for Anderson while Djokovic looks to claim a fourth Wimbledon title. Anderson deserves credit for his accomplishments, but Djokovic won the tougher semifinal and surely he’s the better player, having at this point overcome the injury issues that dogged him in previous months. Djokovic in 3
Lukas Weese: Novak Djokovic is advancing to his 22nd Grand Slam Final, trying to win his 4th Wimbledon and 13th major championship. He will be taking on Kevin Anderson, who just survived a six and a half thriller over John Isner, the second longest match in Grand Slam history. Djokovic survived an epic battle of his own against Rafael Nadal, where he won 10-8 in the fifth. Novak served brilliantly in the key moments, staving off break point opportunities from the Spaniard. Djokovic racked up 73 winners to 42 unforced errors, showcasing his relentless defense and tremendous groundstrokes. For Anderson, he will rely heavily on his serve to bother the Serbian. Last match, Anderson served up 49 aces, winning 84% of his first serve points. To me, the health and fatigue will impact Anderson’s performance. Djokovic is playing at such a high level and is back at the superstar form that won him 12 Grand Slam titles. I got Novak to win another major, to be only one behind Pete Sampras in Grand Slam career titles. Djokovic in 4
David Adair: When the Anderson v Isner match went past 25 games fifth set – you thought history and experience in marathon’s made Isner favourite for the first time in the match. For Anderson to come through this is an amazing achievement. No-one can deny Anderson’s right to be in this final, arguably as Federer’s conqueror you could make him the favourite. This is Anderson chance to win a Slam, he will be fired up to take it.
All the doomsayers against the case for Anderson winning will be putting plenty of stock on Nadal’s annihilation of him in last year’s US Open final. Forget about that- Anderson’s route there didn’t involve a confidence gaining victory over Federer. More importantly, he has the big serve on this fast Wimbledon court to turn the match into a marathon. This is where his Isner experience proves its worth. Also, it is not to be underestimated the value of a day’s rest before the final. Djokovic’s semi-marathon against Nadal that ran into Saturday, will have drained him. It’s upset time. Anderson in 5
Brett Margolies: It’s tough to tell which player has the advantage here regarding being fresher for the final. Anderson’s marathon match against Isner, or Djokovic having to play three consecutive days. I don’t think Djokovic will let an opportunity like this slip. Djokovic owns a 5-1 H2H record over Anderson including a comeback win from 2-0 down over the big-serving South African at Wimbledon in 2015. Anderson will be able to keep it close but expect the best returner in men’s tennis to take away Anderson’s biggest weapon from the start. Djokovic in 4