Marian Vajda makes Rafael Nadal admission after Wimbledon success
MARIAN VAJDA says he did not believe Novak Djokovic would beat Rafael Nadal and win his fourth Wimbledon title last week.
Djokovic spent the final six months of 2017 sidelined with an elbow injury which eventually required surgery.
It took a while for the Serbian to return to his best form, which came at Queen’s where he was beaten in the final by Marin Cilic.
But Djokovic bounced back and crept under the radar at Wimbledon until his semi-final showdown with world No 1 Nadal.
The match lasted over five hours and spread across two days until Djokovic booked his place in the final with a 10-8 final-set win.
Djokovic’s coach Vajda was surprised with the mental attributes his player showed during the dramatic victory.
“I didn’t believe so much during the semi-finals he would beat Rafa (Nadal), because Rafa was mentally much better and winning Grand Slams and coming into the semi-finals much better,” Vajda said.
Djokovic beat Nadal in the Wimbledon semi-final (Image: GETTY)
“But mentally it was something amazing that happened in the fifth set.
“He hasn’t had experience against opponents like Nadal in a long time, I don’t know how he found it, but he just went for the balls, he had more courage to go for it and he made it simple.
“He commanded himself just very simply and then it happened.”
Meanwhile, Vajda was even more shocked Djokovic was able to secure his fourth Wimbledon title so soon after returning from injury.
“I didn’t expect to win Wimbledon, this is the biggest surprise from all the years I was with him,” Vajda added.
The Serbian won his fourth title at the All England Club (Image: GETTY)
“All the years we were practicing, I was expecting he can be No 1, he can win Grand Slams, but this was very unexpected.
“Queen’s helped him a lot, giving him slight confidence, but he was always doubting how he would be at Wimbledon.
“I think the biggest improvement here was his serving, patterns were fantastic, and the most improvement was on the return.
“He couldn’t find returns in Paris and in other tournaments but he found it just in time this tournament.”