2014 in review: Djokovic and Stepanek demonstrate the spirit of tennis
Originally published on 26/12/14
Novak Djokovic beat better opponents en route to his second Wimbledon title, but his most joyful victory came in the second round against Radek Stepanek. It was a match full of entertaining rallies, moments of high drama and great sportsmanship.
Stepanek, who at 35 was the oldest player left in the men’s draw, contributed much to a contest that summed up the spirit of the game. He also played to the crowd, feigning exhaustion after lengthy rallies and going on his knees, hands held in prayer, when he made what proved an unsuccessful challenge on match point.
At one stage Djokovic sportingly conceded an important point after admitting that an incorrect line call had not affected his missed shot at the end of the rally. “You remember certain matches that were special,” the Serb said afterwards. “I’ll definitely remember this one.”