Djokovic to return to No.1 after thrilling Wimbledon win
Originally published on 06/07/14
The Serb recovered from losing a 5-2 lead in the fourth set and missing a championship point to win a captivating match 6-7(7) 6-4 7-6(4) 5-7 6-4 in just under four hours. It is Djokovic’s seventh major title and means he will return to world No.1 on Monday for the first time since September 2013.
"I want to congratulate Roger on a great tournament and great fight today," said Djokovic, who had lost his last three Grand Slam finals. "It was a great match to be part of. He's a magnificent champion, a great example of a great athlete and a role model for many kids. I respect his career and everything he's done. Thank you for letting me win today."
Only once before had Federer lost a Wimbledon final but the seven-time champion said it was a deserved victory for Djokovic after a memorable encounter.
“It was a great final," said Federer. "I can't believe I made it to five. It wasn't looking good there for a while. You know going into a match with Novak it's always going to be tough; we play athletic points. I can only say congratulations today for an amazing match, amazing tournament and well deserved."
In only their second ever meeting in a Grand Slam final, there was little to choose between the pair in a tight opening set. Neither could conjure up any break point chances but it was Federer who made the first move in the tie-break as he edged 3-0 ahead. Djokovic replied by winning five of the next six points but could not take the two set points that came his way. Instead it was Federer who took a 52-minute set when the Serb netted with a backhand.
Djokovic, though, replied in the best manner possible as he created the first break points in the opening game of the second set. Although Federer managed to hold, even a fall could not disrupt the Serb as he broke the 32-year-old for only the second time in the tournament to take a 2-1 lead. It took until the end of the set for the seven-time champion to pressure the Djokovic serve, but the top seed kept his composure to save his first break point and then level the match with a smash.
A game of aces from Federer helped him stay ahead but Djokovic also looked solid behind his serve and this time seized the initiative in the tie-break to take the lead. The momentum looked to be firmly with the Serb as he broke twice to take a 5-2 advantage and put himself on the brink of victory. But just as Federer’s challenge looked to have faded, he rallied with a stunning fightback. The 2012 champion reeled off the next five games in a row, saving a championship point at 5-4 down, to take the match to a decider.
It looked as though Djokovic’s exertions throughout the week, having spent more than four hours on court than his opponent, might catch up with him in the fifth as he required a medical timeout for treatment on his thigh. But after saving a break point in the seventh game it was the Serb who started to assert his authority. Only a fantastic half volley from Federer kept Djokovic from breaking at 4-4 but he eventually took his second championship point to clinch a memorable victory.