Top seed Novak Djokovic lifted his second Wimbledon trophy after 2011 in London today after a fantastic five-set victory over the 17-time Grand Slam title holder Roger Federer. The fourth-seeded Swiss Maestro almost pulled off a glorious comeback, but fell just a bit short in the decider and dropped to 7-2 in SW19 final appearances despite hitting 29 aces to the Serb’s 13. The head-to-head record between the arch-rivals now stands at 18-17 in Roger’s favor.
The Centre Court audience was in for a treat as the dynamic opener commenced with short and effective rallies with none of the players generating a break point in that part of the game. An equally close tie-break followed forty minutes into the match and while FedEx clinched the initial mini-break, Novak raced back to earn a couple of set points. The Swiss escaped both in a masterful way and obtained one of his own thanks to a service winner. He took advantage of the opportunity as his opponent netted a backhand.
Djokovic applied extra pressure in the beginning of the set two which resulted in the first break of the afternoon in the third game. Roger failed to get into rhythm later on and was unable to cause real damage in the return games. Nevertheless, he suddenly obtained a break back point when Nole served for the set, yet the Serb – who will reclaim top spot in the ATP Rankings next week – got out of trouble before ultimately putting away a smash to level the terms.
The third set resembled the opener as the serves remained intact all the way until the eleventh game when Federer (he held one of the service games by scoring four consecutive aces) rescued a pair of break points to force a new breaker. While he neutralized Novak’s mini-break to make it 4-3, he paid the price of a big forehand miss which allowed the adversary to get his nose in front once more and take the set in first attempt.
The best was yet to come, though, as we enjoyed a roller-coaster of a fourth set where the seven-time Wimbledon champion broke back twice before gifting Djokovic a championship point at 5-4. He saved it following a well used challenge as he scored an ace which was initially called out. His aggressive approach in that section of the clash paid off as he stole Nole’s serve for the third time in a row to make it two sets each.
The decider could have gone either way with inspired Federer dominating the first half by holding to love in the opening three service games before wasting a break point at 3-3. Novak then regained his consistency and while FedEx got out of 15-40 in the follow-up game, he failed to stay in the set at 5-4 as the new top-ranked player converted on the match point number two for a terrific 6-7 (7), 6-4, 7-6 (4), 5-7, 6-4 triumph after nearly four hours of sublime grass-court tennis.
“I want to congratulate Roger on a great tournament and great fight today,” said Djokovic in his on-court speech. “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.”