Novak Djokovic Beats Roger Federer in Fifth-Set Tiebreaker to Win Wimbledon

Brenda Watkins
July 15, 2019

For almost five tight, tense and terrific hours, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer traded the lead, playing on and on and on until an unprecedented fifth-set tiebreaker was required to settle their memorable Wimbledon final. Federer led 5-3 in the tiebreaker after winning four straight points, but missed forehands on each of the next three points. After Djokovic broke Federer's serve, the Swiss only replied in kind.

He claimed his fifth Wimbledon title and second in a row. But at the same time one thing that probably allowed me to come back and save match points and win this match was the mental stability in those moments.

Roger Federer belatedly revealed the depth of his disappointment last night as he rued "such an incredible opportunity missed" after his agonising Wimbledon final defeat to Novak Djokovic.

The other three have been split between Stan Wawrinka (two) and Andy Murray (one).

Nothing could split the players in an intoxicating final set and the match was already the longest Wimbledon singles final in history when the club's new rule stipulating a tiebreak at 12-12 in a deciding set was deployed for the first time in singles.

Djokovic moved to within a set of a fifth Wimbledon title after fighting back from a set point down to claim the third set at the end of another tense tie break. Later, when Djokovic held for an 11-10 lead, it was Steiner who got confused, beginning to call out the score as 11-9, before catching himself. "I think I can be happy about my performance", Federer said.

"Of course, if you have the majority of the crowd on your side, it helps, it gives you motivation, it gives you strength, it gives you energy". After the Spaniard won the second set, the crowd cheered and Djokovic sarcastically gestured for fans to throw even more support behind the underdog.

It is destined to be discussed for years.

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Sportsmail's Kieran Gill takes a look at Djokovic's best grand slam successes.

"It was a great match".

Only Federer (eight) and Pete Sampras (seven) have won more since the sport became open to professional players in 1968. "But Novak, it's great".

Federer said there were for sure similarities with his loss to Nadal in 2008 but differences too.

First, it was Federer who kept falling behind, then coming back. He was down a break early in the crucible of the fifth. At 40-15 a sensational victory was in the palm of his hand but Djokovic was not done.

He sent a forehand wide on the first championship point, and Djokovic produced a cross-court forehand victor on the next.

Victory took the 32-year-old Serbian level with Bjorn Borg in fourth place on the all-time list of men's winners at Wimbledon and increased his Grand Slam tally to 16 - four behind Federer.

"Definitely tough to have those chances", Federer said.

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