CBS Sports – Novak Djokovic defeated Roger Federer 6-7, 6-4, 7-6, 5-7, 6-4 Sunday in a truly classic match to win his second Wimbledon title and seventh Grand Slam championship overall.
The match lived up to its lofty billing, with both men playing world-class tennis from start to finish. There was only one broken serve in the first three sets, but the match opened up from there, with five broken serves in the fourth set — a result that no one could have predicted.
But Djokovic was able to pull away in the final set, wearing down Federer in what may be the 32-year-old’s last real shot at another Wimbledon title. The two played evenly to 5-4 with neither losing serve until Djokovic broke Federer for the match.
“It was a great match to be part of,” Djokovic said after the match. “Roger is a great role model and a great champion and I thank him for letting me win today.
“This is the tournament I always dreamed of winning. The best in the world, the most valuable one.”
The start of the match signalled what was to come, as both players held serve until midway through the second set, when Djokovic earned the first break of the match. In fact, that marked just the second time Federer had lost serve this tournament.
They traded the first two sets, and the third, just like the first, went to a tiebreak. Djokovic jumped ahead 4-2, but Federer appeared poised for a comeback when a challenge showed that his winner was in by, quite literally, a blade of grass. But Federer wasted an opportunity on the next point, and Djokovic closed out the set.
Djokovic broke Federer a second time in the fourth set, jumping ahead 3-1 and appearing in control. However Federer answered with a break of his own — his first of the match — igniting the crowd. But Djokovic answered back, breaking Federer and holding serve to go up 5-2.
Not to be outdone, Federer answered with his second break of the match, much to the delight of the crowd. He then held serve — despite an ill-timed double fault — fighting off championship point in the process. He then broke Djokovic and held serve to even the match at two sets apiece, setting up the decisive fifth set.
“I thought it was a great final. Can’t believe I made it to five – wasn’t looking good for a while,” Federer said after the match. “I hoped it would be enough.”
It wasn’t quite enough, but still an electric match tremendously played that will go down in history.
“You know it’s going to be tough facing him — sometimes rough physically,” Federer said of Djokovic. “I can only say congratulations. An amazing match, an amazing tournament, and deserved, well deserved.”
A win for Federer would have been his eighth, breaking a tie with Pete Sampras for the most ever at Wimbledon. For Djokovic, the win pushed him ahead of Rafael Nadal and into the world No. 1 ranking.