Why Djokovic deserved Wimbledon win
WIMBLEDON's heights are matched only by its lows.
John Isner experienced the tournament's peaks and troughs in 2010 when, a round after thumping a record 103 aces over 11 hours in the longest match in history, he was a dead man walking against Thiemo de Bakker.
So spent, the man with the most lethal arm in tennis, delivered zero aces. Zero - and off the court in 74 minutes.
The hardest questions grand slams ask players is to front up for two weeks and, on the men's side, meet the challenge of surviving seven best-of-five set contests.
One reason Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have been so successful in the sport's long form is because of fanatical micromanagement.
There is a precision to their operations amplified by the slothful, cavalier detachment of others.
Kevin Anderson sits much closer to Federer, Nadal and Djokovic in approach than the loafers.
But there was simply nothing left in the tank against Djokovic.
Two epic five-set jousts with Federer and Isner occupied him for 10 hours, 50 minutes - more than double the time it took him to win four previous matches.
Djokovic took four hours less to reach the final, and it showed.
The argument that has raged over using tiebreaks in fifth sets at all majors instead of advantage format is now at fever pitch.
Anderson's fatigue was one factor Wimbledon 2018 ended with an airless contest.
Another, and unfairly overlooked, was Djokovic's supreme professionalism.
From Wimbledon 2015 to the '16 French Open, Djokovic was the finest player on the planet.
He simultaneously held all four majors, until personal issues and injuries cut him deeply.
Now, after the lows, he's back at the pinnacle.
And, even after the soft kill in the final, his victory merits far more than cynical qualification around Anderson's exhaustion.
There was no better match at the tournament than Djokovic and Nadal's semi-final.
It took a herculean performance for Djokovic to slay Nadal.
He deserves his victory.
But Anderson's goose - and the final - was cooked late on Friday when a banged-up Anderson limped into the treatment room after victory over Isner.
Whether the traditionalists like it or not, the debate around fifth-set tiebreaks will not go away.