Newly crowned Wimbledon champion, Novak Djokovic wanted a “sophisticated waltz” but instead he got the Bee Gees as he and Serena Williams revived an old tradition by dancing at the Wimbledon champions’ dinner.
Fresh from their respective triumphs on Centre Court, the pair took centre stage, as Djokovic and Williams became the first champions to dance officially since Bjorn Borg and Chris Evert in 1976.
The duo, who now boast 30 grand slam titles between them, received a standing ovation from guests at the London Guildhall but while Djokovic made the first move, it was Williams who called the tune.
“There was no practice, I suggested the idea to (All England Club chairman) Philip Brook and Serena, and fortunately they accepted,” Djokovic said. “I was very pleased because Serena is a great dancer.”
Djokovic added: “I was thinking of more of a waltz – something more sophisticated, something that blends into the environment and the beautiful hall we were in.
“But Serena wanted to move a bit more and we considered other options. “So it was Night Fever. Night Fever came to life and you can imagine how that looked.”
While Djokovic was unsure of his late-night moves, there was nothing uncertain about the defence of his title as he earlier dispatched Roger Federer 7-6 (7/1) 6-7 (10-12) 6-4 6-3 to win his third Wimbledon crown.
Djokovic squandered seven set points before losing an exhilarating second-set tie-break but the Serb has a remarkable resilience, for which he credited the contribution of his coach Boris Becker.
“Mentally he is one of the toughest players I have ever seen play and I think that’s where he has contributed most to my game,” Djokovic said.
“Being able to deal with the moments like yesterday, at set points down, the tough has to get going so I try to keep things simple and use the advice he has given me to overcome those obstacles.”
It is ominous for Djokovic’s rivals that he considers grass as “not in the comfort zone”, maintaining instead that his game is better suited to harder courts with longer rallies.