Mats Wilander has criticised Roger Federer’s tactics in the Wimbledon final, questioning why he served down the middle on key points.
Federer let two championship points go begging in Sunday’s final, with Djokovic producing an incredible escape act to prevail 13-12 in a fifth set tiebreak.
Wilander, a seven-time grand slam champion, believes Federer erred by serving down the T on his match points, rather than pushing Djokovic out wide on the return.
Serving down the middle allowed Djokovic to stay in the middle of the court, producing a brilliant forehand passing shot to stave off one of the championship points.
“Djokovic would never have gone for it,” Wilander told L’Equipe.
“It is basic, serve at the weak point of your opponent.”
Wilander also said Federer is now paying the price for the easy run he had during the early stages of his career.
“In those vital moments, Federer was paying for the years between 2004 and 2007 where he dominated his rivals so much that he never had to play an important game,” Wilander said.
“He was not tested enough then, it was too easy for him, so he did not improve tactically.
“Nowadays, however, he’s faced with guys like Rafa Nadal and Djokovic, who are the masters in these tactical matters, and he does not play the important points correctly.”
A tweet that has since gone viral shows how Federer played an almost identical point while serving for the titles at 40-30 in 2012 and 2019.
In 2012, Andy Murray attempted the same passing shot that Djokovic pulled off, but pushed it agonisingly wide to hand Federer the title.
Why it couldn't have been the same 😢 pic.twitter.com/SFQMN3bSUe— lehunterpro (@lehunterpro) July 16, 2019
Stat that puts Federer to shame
Unfortunately for Federer, his inability to convert the match points is nothing new.
Stats show Federer has lost way more matches after having a match point, compared to his greatest rivals Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.
Federer has lost 22 matches after having a match point since his first loss of this kind in 2000 - when he lost to Tim Henman at the Vienna Open.
In that match he had two match points he was unable to convert.
Nadal has gone on to lose eight matches after having a match point, while Djokovic only has three losses after having a match point.