How relevant is time?

So, we’ve just witnessed one of the most amazing tennis matches in history, at that there is little doubt.  For Djokovic to win a five set epic, having played a tight five set epic in the semis only two days before (remember Rafa had an extra day rest and a slightly less taxing semi) was a superhuman effort.  Again he repelled the challenge of a relentless competitor who came back at him after Novak had had the upper hand.

It was also the longest grand slam final in the open era, at 5hrs 53 min.  However, statistics may, in this case, be as close to damn lies as can be!  I don’t want to appear negative, amidst what was one of the finest matches of all time but it is worth noting that here are two players that take the 25 second rule between points to the limit – and beyond.  Often Novak is at the baseline to start his serve routine inside the 25 seconds, he then goes through a routine that often includes 15 or more bounces of the ball.  Rafa is not much different.

These routines are important in helping players manage their energy and focus for the next point but here are two players who take longer than anyone. So it would be interesting to know how long the ball was actually in play, compared to some of the other classic finals.  However, I don’t want to seem churlish in the aftermath of what was an amazing match.

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