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Page last updated at 21:52 GMT, Wednesday, 25 June 2008 22:52 UK

The BBC team on Djokovic's defeat

John McEnroe
By John McEnroe
Three-time Wimbledon champion

This was a good match-up for Marat Safin because he was playing someone with a similar style and yet he was the bigger guy.

As the match progressed, Novak Djokovic really felt that and seemed to sag.

Marat Safin
Safin celebrates his shock 6-4 7-6 6-2 win over Novak Djokovic

When you have the expectation that Novak had placed on himself and with people talking about him being the favourite along with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, it seemed that weight really got to him.

I have praised Djokovic's serve but it really was a poor effort. He went for big second serves at critical junctures, at three different times, to lose the match.

Safin has played mediocre at a lot of events but that has forced him to get out there and practise.

That is part of what we have questioned about Safin. How motivated is he? How hard is he working? How healthy is he?

It's nice to see all that work paying off and hopefully he can keep it going for a while.

He should now forget about the fact that he has not done great here at Wimbledon because this court plays right into his hitting zone.

Djokovic has played a lot of tennis, too much I think, and it has got to him.

You could argue that he was match tough until you see him play a match like that - then you feel he is a little spent.

He has got to be more careful with the schedule because the expectations are higher and people expect him to go a long way in any event he plays.

Greg Rusedski
By Greg Rusedski
Former US Open finalist

This result is a massive surprise because Djokovic played so well at Queen's. He got to the final and he looked like he was getting comfortable on grass.

It was a difficult match for him but one I thought he would get through. You have to give credit to Safin, he was very impressive.

Double faults happen to all players and the two Djokovic had at the end showed that he had nerves out there.

He said it was not one of his better performances and grass is his least favourite surface but he is mentally strong and he has had a great run up to this point. It is just a minor blip on his year.

Boris Becker
By Boris Becker
Three-time Wimbledon champion

Djokovic has had a phenomenal year and you expected him to beat Safin quite easily as his opponent has not really played that kind of tennis in a while.

Yet Safin, a former world number one and a former Grand Slam winner, knows what it takes to play at his best on the big stage.

I personally expected a long match, I obviously expected Djokovic to win but I expected Safin to give him a run for his money and he certainly did that.

Nobody expected much of Safin but I have been watching his results over the last couple of months.

He put his time and effort in to his game again and the results have followed.

He was a very successful player, he made a lot of money so the question for him is where do I go from here?

Do I quit altogether or do I come back and put the hours into training? And a Grand Slam winner going back to qualifying says everything about his state of mind.

On paper, this was a tough match for Djokovic and I am not totally surprised that Safin has won.

John McEnroe and Boris Becker were talking on BBC Sport's Wimbledon coverage; Greg Rusedski was speaking on BBC Two's Today at Wimbledon.




see also
Safin stuns lacklustre Djokovic
25 Jun 08 |  Tennis
Djokovic v Safin as it happened
25 Jun 08 |  Tennis
Wimbledon photos
25 Jun 08 |  Tennis


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