He may also relive some moments he’d like to have back. Del Potro had three break points in the third set and couldn’t convert any, screaming in frustration when he framed a backhand wide on the third try. Then, trailing 3-2 in the third-set tiebreaker, del Potro failed to put an overhead away and Djokovic slipped and fell on the dirt behind the baseline while throwing up a weak lob. Backpedaling, del Potro couldn’t handle the overhead and dropped it in the net.
He lost the rest of the points to fall behind by a set.
A bit later, Del Potro lost his serve to fall behind 4-3 in the fourth set, but broke right back, finishing the game with a big backhand winner, a guttural grunt and a fist pump.
They held serve until the tiebreaker, and when del Potro won that one, he looked like the del Potro of 2009, the man who broke the Federer-Nadal-Djokovic stranglehold on the majors by overcoming a 2-1 deficit against Federer in the 2009 final at Flushing Meadows to win the title.
If he stays healthy, he’ll certainly be someone to contend with two months from now in New York.
But this week, it’s Djokovic playing for a title after putting on one heck of a show.
“I know that I have been pushed to the limit today, as my opponent was also,” Djokovic said. “It was one of the most thrilling matches that I have ever played, especially here in Wimbledon.”