Novak Djokovic wins tense Wimbledon final

13:03, Jul 08 2014
Stanislas Wawrinka
Stanislas Wawrinka stretches for a backhand shot during his first-round straight sets victory over Portugal's Joao Sousa.
Caroline Wozniacki
Caroline Wozniacki adjusts her ponytail during her victory over Israel's Shahar Peer.
Fabio Fognini
Fabio Fognini throws his racquet to the turf after losing a point to Alex Kuznetsov.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga slips as he attempts to play a shot in a rain-delayed match against Jurgen Melzer.
Dominika Cibulkova
Dominika Cibulkova pumps her fist after overcoming Canada's Aleksandra Wozniak.
Wimbledon fan
A tennis fan shelters herself from the rain with a seat cushion on day one.
Roger Federer
Roger Federer showed signs of old as he breezed by Paolo Lorenzi in the first round at Wimbledon.
Lleyton Hewitt
Lleyton Hewitt recovered from losing a long tiebreaker in the second set to see off Poland's Michal Przysiezny in four sets.
Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova acknowledges the crowd after her straight sets victory over British wildcard Samantha Murray.
Rafa Nadal
Rafa Nadal lost the first set but recovered to record his 700th tour win.
Andy Murray
Andy Murray made quick work of Slovenian Blaz Rola in the second round, losing only two games.
Li Na
Li Na overcame Austrian Yvonne Meusburger 6-2 6-2 in the second round at Wimbledon.
Serena Williams
Serena Williams stretches into the splits after she plays a shot during her win over Anna Tatishvili of the US.
Tennis umpire
A tennis umpire checks the height of an outside court at Wimbledon.
Wimbledon fans
Two tennis fans take in the action on day three at Wimbledon.
Steph Jones
Kiwi Steph Jones enjoys some strawberries and cream at the All England Club.
Wimbledon fans
Wimbledon fans peer through a hole in the fence to catch a glimpse of Japan's Misaki Doi and Russia's Ekaterina Makarova.
Petra Kvitova
Petra Kvitova serves during her second round match against Mona Barthel.
Serena Williams
Serena Williams lost just two games in cruising by South Africa's Chanelle Scheepers and into the third round at Wimbledon.
Rafa Nadal
Rafa Nadal plays a drop shot during his second round match against Czech Lukas Rosol.
Ana Ivanovic
Ana Ivanovic blows kisses to the crowd after her victory over China's Zheng Jie.
Stanislas Wawrinka
Stanislas Wawrinka takes a seat between points against Taiwan's Lu Yen-Hsun.
Serena Williams
Serena Williams waits for the result of an appeal against Chanelle Scheepers.
Andy Murray
Andy Murray mowed past Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut in straight sets to reach the last 16.
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic grimaces in pain after falling on his left shoulder diving for a shot.
Barbora Zahlavova Strycova
Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, of the Czech Republic, roars after upsetting No 2 seed Li Na in the third round.
Line judge
A Wimbledon line judge in action during a match between Marin Cilic and Tomas Berdych.
Grigor Dimitrov
Grigor Dimitrov reacts after match point in his victory over Alexandr Dolgopolov.
Wimbledon fans
Tennis ball bra-wearing Wimbledon fans watch Andy Murray's match at an outdoor viewing area.
Wimbledon centre court
Wimbledon centre court as seen from the cheap seats.
Rafa Nadal
Rafa Nadal dropped the first set for the third straight match but rallied to win in four sets.
Rafa Nadal
Rafa Nadal dries himself off during a changeover in his match against Mikhail Kukushkin.
Wimbledon rain
The Wimbledon logo is seen through raindrops at the All England Club.
Wimbledon rain
Spectators shield under umbrellas on the outside courts as rain disrupts play on day six.
Wimbledon rain
A security guard stands watch as the roof in closed due to rain on Wimbledon's centre court.
Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova plays a forehand volley during her domination of American Alison Riske.
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates winning his fourth round singles match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France.
Andy Murray
Andy Murray of Great Britain shakes hands with Kevin Anderson of South Africa after their fourth round match on day seven at Wimbledon.
Feliciano Lopez
Feliciano Lopez of Spain hits a return to John Isner of the US during their men's singles match at Wimbledon.
Stan Wawrinka
Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland slips over during his singles match against Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan at Wimbledon.
Ana Ivanovic
Ana Ivanovic of Serbia is dejected after losing her fourth round match against Sabine Lisicki of Germany at Wimbledon.
Sabine Lisicki
Sabine Lisicki of Germany reacts after defeating Ana Ivanovic of Serbia at Wimbledon.
Eugenie Bouchard
Eugenie Bouchard of Canada hits a forehand return during her fourth round match against Alize Cornet of France.
Simona Halep
Simona Halep became just the second Romanian, after Virginia Ruzici in 1978 and 1981, to reach the quarterfinals at Wimbledon.
Roger Federer
Roger Federer stretches for a forehand during his domination of Tommy Robredo.
Roger Federer
Roger Federer needed just 94 minutes to finish off Tommy Robredo to reach the quarterfinals.
Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova saved six match points before eventually falling to Angelique Kerber in the fourth round.
Serena Williams
Serena Williams is treated by medical staff before a women's double match with sister Venus (left).
Milos Raonic
Milos Raonic is fired up after his Canada Day victory over Kei Nishikori.
Nick Kyrgios
Nick Kyrgios of Australia celebrates after his shock upset victory over Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon.
Nick Kyrgios
Nick Kyrgios of Australia reacts to winning the third set tie-break during his men's singles match against Rafael Nadal of Spain at Wimbledon.
Nick Kyrgios
Nick Kyrgios of Australia (left) shakes hands with Rafael Nadal of Spain after defeating him in their men's singles tennis match at Wimbledon.
Nick Kyrgios
Australian wildcard Nick Kyrgios reacts during his fourth round singles match with Rafael Nadal.
Nick Kyrgios
Nick Kyrgios of Australia plays a backhand return during his clash with Spain's Rafael Nadal in the fourth round at Wimbledon.
Simona Halep
Simona Halep reeled off the last 11 games in her quarterfinal against Sabine Lisicki to surge into the Wimbledon semifinals.
Simona Halep
Simona Halep acknowledges the crowd after her quarterfinal victory over Sabine Lisicki.
Sabine Lisicki
Sabine Lisicki is at full stretch for a forehand stroke against Simona Halep.
Eugenie Bouchard
Eugenie Bouchard serves during her quarterfinal victory over Angelique Kerber.
Andy Murray
Andy Murray sit dejected with a towel over his head after his Wimbledon title defence ended in the quarterfinals.
Grigor Dimitrov
Grigor Dimitrov reacts after match-point against Andy Murray.
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic wipes away sweat during a change of ends during his quarterfinal against Marin Cilic.
Andy Murray
It just wasn't Andy Murray's day as the Wimbledon defending champ was bundled out of the tournament in straight sets by Grigor Dimitrov.
Petra Kvitova
After a first-set tiebreaker, Petra Kvitova took control in the second set, defeating Lucie Safarova in straight sets.
Lucie Safarova
Lucie Safarova stretches for a baseline forehand shot against Petra Kvitova.
Eugenie Bouchard
Eugenie Bouchard blasted past Simona Halep after a first-set tiebreaker to reach the Wimbledon final.
Simona Halep
Simona Halep (right) congratulates Eugenie Bouchard after their Wimbledon semifinal.
Petra Kvitova
Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic plays a forehand return during her win over compatriot Lucie Safarova at Wimbledon.
Petra Kvitova
Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic reacts after defeating Lucie Safarova at Wimbledon.
Eugenie Bouchard
Eugenie Bouchard of Canada hits a return during her women's singles semi-final match against Simona Halep of Romania at Wimbledon.
Eugenie Bouchard
Eugenie Bouchard of Canada during her Wimbledon match against Simona Halep of Romania.
Novak Dimitrov
Making it into the Wimbledon final meant much to Novak Djokovic.
Novak Dimitrov
Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov shows his athleticism in the Wimbledon semifinals.
Novak Dimitrov
Swiss tennis star Roger Federer a crowd favourite at the All England Club where fans joined with him in celebrating his semifinal win.
Novak Dimitrov
Swiss tennis maestro Roger Federer shows his classic grace on court in the Wimbledon semifinals.
Petra Kvitova
Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic poses with the Venus Rosewater Dish trophy after her victory in the Ladies' Singles final against Canada's Eugenie Bouchard.
Eugenie Bouchard
Eugenie Bouchard at full stretch during the women's final.
Petra Kvitova
Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic celebrates after defeating Eugenie Bouchard of Canada in the women's singles final.
Petra Kvitova
Petra Kvitova plays a forehand return during the Ladies' Singles final.
Eugenie Bouchard
Eugenie Bouchard hits a forehand during the women's singles final.
Eugenie Bouchard
Eugenie Bouchard with the runner-up trophy after the women's singles final against Petra Kvitova.
Novak Djokovic
CHAMPION: Novak Djokovic celebrates winning his second Wimbledon crown.
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic of Serbia blows kisses to the fans as he celebrates winning the Wimbledon title after beating Roger Federer of Switzerland in the final.
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic of Serbia eats some of the centre court grass after beating Roger Federer of Switzerland in the final.
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic of Serbia plays a backhand return to Roger Federer of Switzerland during the men's singles final at Wimbledon.
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic of Serbia shakes hands with Roger Federer of Switzerland after the men's singles final at Wimbledon.
Roger Federer
Roger Federer of Switzerland hits a backhand to Novak Djokovic of Serbia during the men's singles final at Wimbledon.

Novak Djokovic claimed a second Wimbledon title after coming out on top in an extraordinary battle of wills against seven-times winner Roger Federer, eventually triumphing 6-7(7) 6-4 7-6(4) 5-7 6-4 in a gripping encounter overnight.

The Serb, who has now won seven grand slam titles, denied Federer the opportunity to win a record eighth All England Club trophy but was pushed all the way by the Swiss who faced a match point in the fourth set before forcing a decider.

Djokovic eventually wrapped up the contest that will go down as one of the greatest Wimbledon finals in three hours and 56 minutes, falling to the ground in celebration before climbing to the players' box to greet his camp with an emotional embrace.

Novak Djokovic
CHAMPION: Novak Djokovic celebrates winning his second Wimbledon crown.

''I don't know how I managed to do it,'' said a teary Djokovic, who had lost his last three grand slam finals.

''I want to dedicate this win to a few people, first of all to my future wife and our future baby. I am going to become a father soon and I am still preparing for that.

''To my family and my team for sacrifice a lot of their lives to allow me to live the dream and to my first coach Jelena Gencic, who taught me everything about playing tennis and how to behave. Unfortunately she passed away last year but this is for her.''

Advertisement

Federer was magnanimous in defeat and even slightly disbelieving of his own resolve having forced a decider after looking down and out at 5-2 down in the fourth set.

''It was a great final. I can't believe I made it to five, it wasn't looking good for a while,'' he said.

''Going into a match with Novak, you know it's going to be tough. I can only say congratulations to him. It was an amazing match and an amazing tournament. It's well-deserved.''

The Djokovic serve had seemed impregnable in the early games of the match. He held three times for the loss of a single point, while he was also able to apply gentle pressure on his opponent with some stinging returns.

The Stefan Edberg effect on Federer's game seemed to be in evidence as the Swiss made frequent forays to the net, with limited success, but both players held their nerve to take it to the tiebreak.

Federer, chasing a record eighth title, raced into an early 3-0 lead, but was then pegged back and saved two set points before coming out on 9-7 when Djokovic netted a backhand after 51 minutes of scintillating play.

If Djokovic was simmering with a sense of injustice at losing a set in which he lost only four points on his first serve, he hid it well and came out energised in the second.

Federer was forced to save two break points in his opening service game and another in his next, but Djokovic made no mistake at the fourth time of asking, claiming the first break of the match for a 2-1 lead with a searing backhand pass.

ANKLE PROBLEM

The Serb called the trainer on court to treat an ankle injury, but stayed largely untroubled until he tried to serve out the second set at 5-4.

At 30-30, the Serb hit a forehand wide to hand Federer his first break point of the match, but swiftly regained his concentration to bring up set point with an ace and saw it out with a forehand smash.

In the third set both players flexed their serving muscles with the ace count mounting and neither facing a break point until the 11th game when Djokovic began to turn the screw once more.

The Serb ground out two break points, but Federer again dug in, saving both with some precision serving to hold after a series of deuces.

It proved a brief reprieve, however, as Djokovic came out firing in the tiebreak, bringing up a set point at 6-4 with a big forehand winner and getting over the line when Federer hit a backhand slice wide.

Djokovic looked to have a hand on the trophy when he pumped his clenched fist in celebration having broken in the fourth game of the fourth set for a 3-1 lead.

It proved to be the start of an extraordinary series of games, however, where both players took in turns to take apart the other's serve.

Federer broke straight back before again handing the momentum to the Serb, who opened a 5-2 lead and served for the match at 5-3.

The centre court crowd were willing Federer to find a route back into the clash and he duly obliged, breaking again to reduce the deficit to 5-4 before again finding himself under pressure to survive.

He netted a backhand to give Djokovic a matchpoint, but served his way out of trouble and then set about putting the pressure back on Djokovic, breaking again and holding as centre court rose in a chorus of ''Roger, Roger''.

Weary legs did not diminish the quality of tennis on show in the fifth set as both players tussled for an advantage in the early evening sunshine.

Federer saved three break points in the eighth game as Djokovic and his famed resolve sought to take charge once more. The 32-year-old's seeping reserves could not hold out for long.

Serving to stay in the match at 4-5, Federer fell to 15-30,  and then sent a forehand long to bring up another match point.

This time, there was no stopping the Serb as Federer netted a backhand to leave Djokovic to accept the acclaim of an emphatically appreciative crowd.

Reuters