Published: Tue, July 16, 2019
Sport | By Ruben Hill

Novak Djokovic beats Roger Federer in epic five-set final

Novak Djokovic beats Roger Federer in epic five-set final

Djokovic is the first man in 71 years to win the title from match points down.

It very much felt like one that got away for the Swiss, who confessed afterwards that it felt like "an incredible opportunity missed".

"You might feel more disappointed, sad, over-angry".

He re-focussed but with Federer winning around 80 percent of first-serve points it felt like Djokovic was hanging on.

With Federer mixing up the pace, Djokovic's movement and defensive tennis drew unforced errors from the Swiss, who handed his opponent the first set after failing to land two ambitious winners inside the baseline.

Instead, his mark of 20 seems eminently within reach for either Nadal or Djokovic, who came through a deciding tie-break to claim a fifth Wimbledon title and 16th slam crown.

While the roars after jaw-dropping rallies created an awesome atmosphere, an ugly moment late in the decider showed just how far Djokovic has to go before earning the goodwill of supporters who will always prefer to barrack for his rival.

Djokovic revealed a mental trick, according to the Times.

"When the crowd is chanting "Roger" I hear "Novak", said the Serb.

"It sounds silly", he conceded, "but it is like that".

Federer: "I'll try to forget".

"You try to ignore the crowd, which is quite hard". We're kind of complementing each other. "If you have majority of the crowd on your side, it helps". If you can't, then you have to play aggressive yourself.

And he received a code violation for whacking the Umpire's chair in anger as Federer held to make it 12-12 - before storming back to win his 16th Grand Slam title.

The "Big Three" dominance of the sport is reflected in their lead of 3,000 over the rest of the top 10.

The tiebreak was put in place after marathon matches over the years, including John Isner's record-long match during the 2010 tournament in which he defeated Nicholas Mahut 70-68 in the final set. "I think, I mean, those two guys, probably one of the biggest reasons I still compete at this level".

"I hope next year, if they played again, it would be more even".

He then added ominously: "I'm not really looking at age as a restriction of any kind for me at least".

"Most of the match I was on the back foot actually". You can't protect everything anyway, ' he concluded.

Roger Federer plays a forehand shot. Federer broke back immediately, but with neither player dropping a game, an electrifying final extended to a tie break after ending 12-12 as per the rules introduced in 2019.

Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates with the Wimbledon trophy on Sunday.

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